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Schiller's Liquor Bar

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Schiller's Liquor Bar

Address: 131 Rivington Street
City: New York, NY
Zip: 10002
Phone: 212 260 4555
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Map: Map
Chef: Shane McBride
Cuisine: American
2nd Cuisine:
Area: Lower East Side
Entree Price: $10-15


The hipster haunt from Keith McNally, the king of the distressed vintage Parisian brasserie, Schiller's Liquor Bar is bursting at its authentic subway-tiled seams with the most up to the minute stars and scene-seekers. The thing about McNally is you've gotta love him. Yes the place is a zoo. Yes there are people on two cell phones at once while blackberry-ing friends at nearby tables. Yes women are rail thin, with full, pouty lips, and sport low riders that actually sit somewhere around their knees, and wear faux-trucker hats. Yes men are chisled and abuse hair care product until they have obtained the perfect matted yet appealing bedhead 'do. Yes the sidewalk corner of Rivington and Norfolk is littered with Prada-clad mommies to be, hooked arm-in-arm with their Paul Smith-decked husbands and future dads. Indeed, this down-and-out corner of the Lower East Side will never be the same. And that's just fine by me, because scene aside (and it is worth noting that there is absolutely NO scene at breakfast and lunch), the thing is, Keith McNally gives good restaurant. The place feels like it's been here forever and then some, in classic McNally fashion with word mirrors, lots of rustic tables, and a great old bar stocked with wonderful bartenders (in white busboy coats) who can mix a drink right. (No fake lime juice here - everything is fresh, and the drinks pack a punch). Schiller's offers a more global brasserie experience that Balthazar and Pastis, with items like the Cubano - a delicious, toasty, cheesey Cuban sandwich served on butcher block with a cone of crispy golden fries, a fiery casserole of Huevos Rancheros (the ultimate hangover cure), and a Welsh Rarebit, a smokey, ale-infused grilled cheese with a sweet tomato on top- sharing menu space with classics like steak frites, moules, burgers, salads, pasta, and, in a ode to the 'hood, one of the best plates of chopped liver I have had on the Lower East Side, if not anywhere in Manhattan- rich, with this amazing sort of nutty texture, it's the ultimate down home peasant-style dish. Be prepared to wait for a table, and be prepared to like it. The scene is half the fun, but with Schiller's the food, a rare accomplishment, is truly the other half.

Review By: By Andrea Strong