If the most excellent Phoenicia Diner gets any hotter it will start sizzling such is the expanse of its popularity, having been featured everywhere recently in publications like Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, Elle and my country’s Daily Mail and Telegraph. I told Mike Cioffi, the Diner’s owner, that he could put ten diners up and down Route 28 and they would still be full to bursting every weekend. I’m sad to say that I’m severely behind in my New Year’s Resolution of eating my way through the outstanding menu and am usually banging my head against the desk on Mondays when I look at my watch and realize it has closed until Thursday.
I’m glad it’s fashionable because now I have a sweet hangout on my doorstep as it has recently opened its bar for limited weekend hours. On Friday and Saturday nights from 7-10pm, for an experimental period, the bartender will serve you a delicious, frosty beverage of your choice. So who says country life is frumpy? Last night I met up with the girls there, and even put a dress on, stop the press (!): the maxi-length I bought from Jigsaw on my last UK excursion, no less, which is partly medieval Queen Guinevere and partly Gap functionality. It looks better than it sounds. I’m not ordinarily a retro fan, but I love the glasses in which the cocktails at the Phoenicia Diner are served: delicate highballs and champagne coupes. Like his approach to business as a whole, Cioffi (pictured below) has put careful consideration into the decor: comfy banquettes and about 12 seats at the bar. Ambling towards the glass-fronted structure in the balmy evening breeze, I was reminded of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and was overwhelmed by the ambience. I don’t get out much. That is about to change.