PASSING THE BAR: BODY Restaurant & Lounge

| 11 Nov 2014 | 02:14

    THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT. Those six syllables provoke a shuddering in almost any New Yorker who’s not into the mainstream club scene. Clickety heels. Hair gel. Streams of vomit flowing in the streets.

    So the question is, why in God’s name would anyone want to duplicate it? Ask the folks behind the Harlem Meatpacking District, also known as “ViVa,” or “Viaduct Valley.” It’s that area in the high 130s between 12th Avenue and the West Side Highway, just north of Fairway and Dinosaur BBQ. One of the newest locations on the strip is BODY Restaurant and Lounge, located at 701 W. 137th St. Just like a club in the real Meatpacking District farther downtown, it’s got sexy vibes, dimmed lights and plenty of places to make out. The first floor of BODY is the restaurant part—there’s a bar in the rear, and the floor is scattered with pockets and cubbyholes of seating much like any other restaurant.The modern American food (sushi, Angus burgers) is tasty enough, but it’s nothing special.The mojitos, however, are out of this world.They’re loaded with sugar and will get you rum-soaked and drunk fast. It’s so thrilling to find a bar still making good mojitos this close to the holidays.

    The second floor of BODY would be the reason I’d go hang out there, though.

    There’s a second drinking area upstairs, with a long, sleek bar and room after spacious room full of beige banquets and purple curtains. Despite one errant strobe light, the whole effect is upscalelooking and sophisticated. The co-ed bathroom is as large as some Manhattan apartments and rocked a similarly sophisticated decor. There’s plenty of room on the second floor of BODY for dancing—enough to give the Maritime Hotel real estate envy! But I had my eye on the very sexy “suite” in the rear of the second floor, which is completely dark, save for two small candles and a sheer curtain.

    Too bad my male friend who tagged along that night was gay. As much as I want to hate something called the Harlem Meatpacking District, BODY’s second floor boasts a great bar if you are, in fact, looking for a trendy duplication of the clubs that dot the far west side. If such patrons are willing to venture up to dimly lit 137th Street—excuse me, ViVa—in those spiked heels, I’m sure they won’t be disappointed. -- BODY Restaurant & Lounge 701 W. 137th St. (at 12th Ave.), 212-691-1416 []( --