One of the coolest places I’ve been in New York City is Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (yes, that is a horribly blatant product placement in the name). Not only was the quality of jazz there superior to almost any of the jazz I’ve heard anywhere else in my life (!), but the session I went to was also criminally cheap: $5 to be exact, for some truly inspiring jazz music against a backdrop of the city skyline and Columbus Circle.
As part of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Club hosts jazz musicians from all over the world, including some of the art’s most venerated performers. The medium-sized venue feels like part performance space, part restaurant. Musical guests play on a small stage set against a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass boasting a view to New York City’s skyscrapers sparkling in the distance and Central Park in front of them. For those who aren’t night owls, you can attend the nightly shows at 7:30 and 9:30pm, for a cover of usually $30-35. Dizzy’s Club also has their full restaurant menu available during these hours, and a full-service bar. Call ahead to make a reservation or buy tickets online.
For those on a slightly tighter budget (i.e. me–I should really consider changing the name of this blog to The Budget Wanderer…) Dizzy’s Club has a late night session called After Hours, which starts at 11pm. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, take advantage of the Hot Fives Special: You pay a $5 cover plus a $5 spending minimum, which gets you an item off of their $5 menu, a selection of appetizers and drinks, including a glass of wine, sangria, or a margarita. Where else in New York City can you get anything for $5 that doesn’t come from a halal street food truck, much less a decent glass of wine?
It goes without saying that Dizzy’s Club makes an absolutely great date spot. Don’t expect to be able to chat it up during the performance, but you’ll be too mesmerized by the music and the views to want to talk much anyway. The jazz at Dizzy’s isn’t your average bar jazz quartet; it’s elevated and sophisticated, and music enthusiasts will appreciate the caliber of music here. But in spite of this, there are no pretentious airs, and the setting and ambience are casual yet simply wonderful. The gorgeous views, paired with the dreamy music remind me, somehow, of the opening sequence to Woody Allen’s Manhattan. Sitting in Dizzy’s Club with good company, sipping cabernet, feeling the music (since with great jazz, one not only listens, but feels it), and gazing at the skyline in the distance, you realize all over again why it is that you love this city.