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Ulysses: Invincible on Stone Street

Ulysses: epic, a great Greek hero storied through the ages, many a-statue made for him

Ulysses: Financial District bar, epic happy hour, a great hero to burnt-out and stressed-out Wall Streeters

Two sides of the same coin. Ulysses, the maddeningly popular beer & pubgrub spot on Stone Street, is the go-to for downtown after-work beers, hearty brunch south of Fulton, and a packed spot to hide your sorrows from a day of market losses. It is dark and twisty with two irritatingly set-up rooms full of obstacles. The bar room is about 70% bar and 30% space. A large oval bar sits squat in the middle of the room while clusters of suits pad the exterior and jostle for space near the tap. A few wooden booths sit pretty above the chaos – impossible to snag except in off-hours or by early-birds. The ‘dining’ room features a buffet at brunch and a kitchen every other time, tall bar tables, and a few booths for the lucky. The whole feel is ‘old-school’ – a dark wooden conservative den for stock brokers and bankers to relish in with pints and whiskeys neat.

It’s a UK-twinged gastropub with a mixed menu of American favorites, Greek classics (it is named after Odysseus for goodness sake), and English/Irish/Scottish-inspired ‘traditions’. Think lollipop lamb chops in an Irish mustard sauce (question: what exactly makes this mustard sauce Irish? is it green?), Shephard’s pie, and bangers & mash mixed with the Ulysses’ Gyro, Aegean salad, and a soft lobster roll. Eclectic, no? It’s meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and there’s is absolutely something here for everyone.

Stick with the basics – they’re hearty and satisfying. Better than your average diner food, not quite as good as many of the gastropubs popping up around New York. Recommended dishes include the sirloin burger (hulking, intimidating, gooey with char, messy in a great way) with a spray of crispy salty fries, the fish & chips with a light flaky batter, anything from the unique Daily Carvery that serves hot and juicy cut meat, and the grilled steak sandwich on a crispy baguette with melty cheese and mushrooms. The raw bar is also pretty impressive with oysters, clams, shrimp, and lobster.

If you’re not eating, enjoy the wonderful beer selection, offering everything from your standard Bud Light to large format Chimays, foreign bottled varieties like Duvel, Red Stripe, and Kronenbourg, and seasonal selections like Germany’s Augustiner, Lindeman’s Lambic Framboise, and Lagunitas IPA. You like beer? You’ll like this selection – it’s accessible yet filled with connoisseurs’ favorites.

Depending on the day and the time, Ulysses can range from a rowdy happy hour spot to a relaxing place where you can enjoy a quiet beer to a grand ole’ party of epic proportions. In the summer, the party spills out onto Stone Street where beer garden like tables and tents are set-up on the cobblestones. It is a neighborhood go-to for those living far downtown and an after-work hotspot that almost every employee at Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs or the New York Stock Exchange can say they’ve been to at some point or another.

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