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Cultures collide at new Brownstone Lounge

KYSHA HARRIS Special to the AmNews | 8/31/2011, 3:06 p.m.

There's a new lounge in the 'hood and it's offering up a comfortable, renovated space on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. There, you can try new foods and old favorites while enjoying a beer or a brown-liquored spirit or two. It's called Brownstone Lounge (2647 Eighth Ave., between 141st and 142nd streets).

Owner Stacey Golia opened the space, which sits on the ground floor of the renovated apartment building that she also owns. It's been some time in the making, but Golia admittedly is a perfectionist and wanted every element to be just so.

Behind the patinaed wrought iron facade is a large, brick-walled space with hardwood floors. The front of the lounge houses a long wooden bar stocked with wines, spirits and beers. Most impressive is a draft device that chills down spirits as they are dispensed from an inverted bottle. Cafe tables line the opposite wall for additional gathering space.

Moving through a narrow bottleneck space and up a few steps toward the back of Brownstone Lounge, the candlelit room opens up to couches, low chairs and tables and floor-to-ceiling curtains. Of course, there are the obligatory flat-screen TVs throughout the space, along with a respectable sound system.

There is also a carefully crafted outdoor space that is short in depth but uses the width of the building. It's very reminiscent of the outdoor space of Ricardo Steakhouse. However, this area has a curfew so as not to disturb the neighbors.

If all of the ground-floor space wasn't enough, Golia is renovating the basement for the kitchen, wine cellar and private dining. It promises to be luxurious and reflective of the tavern-like, sexy, sports bar, man-cave atmosphere upstairs.

Brownstone Lounge's tagline is, "Where different cultures collide." Chef David Greco embraces this by presenting bar food that is first familiar, like chicken wings, then spins it into something new, for example, with an Asian miso glaze. Other notable nibbles are the barbecue pulled pork sliders, meatball sliders, truffled macaroni and cheese gratinee and spinach and artichoke dip.

Brownstone Lounge is open Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 5 p.m. It is also available for private and semi-private gatherings.