1 April 2009, 21:21
Last night I went on a date (ooooh!) & the place was so iCiNG that I knew I had to write about it, just in case you’re ever in New York City & want a totally fun, luxe dining experience!
Sweetiepie in the West Village is completely over-the-top. It verges on being a saccharine visual assault. It is totally ridiculous. & of course it is a combination of these factors which makes it so brilliant.
Imagine this: a restaurant with mirrored walls & ceilings, vivid pink upholstery, golden flourishes & an enormous gilded bird-cage in the front window… in which you sit & eat your meal. It is out of this world. The story goes that the owner of Sweetiepie designed it for his young daughter, who had an Alice In Wonderland obsession. I think he wins the coolest daddy award.
So what does Sweetiepie have to offer, other than gobsmacking décor? There’s a menu of charming but potent1 cocktails (I personally endorse the Sweetiepie & the Bee’s Knees), a $75 ice-cream sundae which comes in the world’s most enormous parfait glass, a selection of cupcakes on the counter, a dessert cart covered in multi-coloured beauties, & well-dressed waiters. They wear bow-ties. Cute.
I was a little unsure going in, because Sweetiepie’s reviews on Yelp are certainly a mixed bag. Claims of poor service & uninspired food are rife, & yes, I could concede that most of these complaints are realistic. The service really isn’t top-notch, but once you actually manage to get your waiter’s attention, they are quite sweet & friendly. The food is really unusual, too — miniature burgers? Tater tots?! — but it’s tasty, I think it’s done well & is totally enchanting in its own way. This is not haute cuisine, it’s a fun, surreal experience, & as long as you go into it with the right mindset, you’ll have a fabulous time.
Plus, I believe that you get out of a situation what you put into it — & let’s face it, even the most dire restaurant can become a whirl of fond memories if you go there with someone who makes you laugh.
Gala recommends… Going there with your best friends for cocktails, decadent first dates, or treating your kid sister to a dinner she will never forget.
Top secret tips: If the bird-cage is occupied when you arrive, tell your waiter that you want to sit in it next. Take a camera! Be prepared to eat with your fingers! & dress up!
 Please note, I am quite a lightweight at the best of times, but I had one (1) Sweetiepie & either two (2) or three (3) Bee’s Knees (I forget) & didn’t realise quite how intoxicated I was until I got back to my house. We’re talking “Oh, the room is spinning” here. Beware! Danger, danger!