- Given enough time in the cozy, dreamlike surroundings of Shalel, you might feel more like you are in Marrakesh than Manhattan. Candlelight dances on rustic brick walls. Arched doorways lead to secluded alcoves of plush seating and an ambient sensuality, one such alcove even features a trickling waterfall sprinkled with flower petals. It's a neighborhood escape: the kind of place where it's easy to forget about the world outside, and where you think James Bond might order a shaken martini if he ever found himself on the Upper West Side. All for the imaginative North African/French fare, you might miss this subterranean den altogether. If you're willing to pay a premium for your cocktail, it is a perfect spot to take a date for a romantic evening and impress him/her with your knowledge of hidden gems like this one.
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