Can you fault a place for its douchey clientele? Not when it's The Rusty Knot, which serves such a delightful menu. There are few places that offer so many of my favorite things: spicy beer (cerveza Cubana, their refreshing and flavorful take on the michelada) and sides of pickles and oysters; even in a sea of pleated khakis, halter tops and going-out-pants, we had a great time.
The interior is tight with only a few coveted tables (one of which we hogged for hours) and a stupidly large pool table taking up most of the largest room. The theme is big-time nautical with a Polynesian twist, expect Tiki cups and lots of wood paneling; the drinks are cheap (regular beers start at 99 cents) and the general mood is low key, but any sense of divey-ness is carefully fabricated – the gentlemen behind the popular hangout come from Freeman's, Milk and Honey, The Spotted Pig, and Momofuku; a group well versed in what's hip and how to convey it without seeming to try too hard.
It's a skill that's made them very rich I'm sure, and I don't mind adding to their coffers when they're serving such yummy snacks and drinks – but next time I'll make a wiser decision than to go so close to the meatpacking district on a Saturday evening.