Food & Drink

A New Underground Beach Bungalow

reunion surf bar!

Avid beach boys Thomas Wilson and Eugene Ashe (creators of beloved restaurant Mas) stowed their surfboards (temporarily) to open Réunion, a new bar named after a sandy speck off Madagascar known for its radical surf break.

Two flights transport you to paradise, where Japanese lanterns hang like buoys, a blond balsa wood bar evokes a vintage Hawaiian board, and the aquarium room can float your private party.

Notice hints of tasteful tiki while hanging ten: Dark ’n’ Stormies (in highball glasses designed by Ashe) come frozen, as do the Coronas (a secret ingredient ensures a superlative chill). Bottles of rhum arrangé are infused with lychee, papaya, and mangosteen.

A small menu (served late) offers beachy snacks gone global: braised short rib burgers with Sriracha and kimchee, and “sandy” clams — dredged in sweet potato-and-semolina flour spritzed with kaffir lime. But the big kahuna is the traditional Réunionaisse surf sandwich: stuffed with French fries (that’s right!), spicy ground meat, caramelized onions, and Gruyere.

As a nod to its namesake — and perhaps in anticipation of a grid-skipping crowd — the bar accepts euros (Réunion island was the first to put them into circulation). That could mean sink or swim for you.

Réunion Surf Bar, 630 Ninth Avenue, at 44th Street (212-582-3200 or reunionbar.com). Catch this bodacious photo gallery.

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357 W 44th St
bt 8th & 9th Aves
New York, NY 10036