From the raging alcoholism of John Bonham, to the improbable wife-beating of Def Leppard's Rick Allen, drummers are often a rock band's most gleefully insane member. Then again, what's crazier than a Cuban-Colombian sticksmith for a Mexican band fronting an Italian restaurant in the West Village? De Santos.
Helmed by Alex Gonzalez, drummer for Maná (a.k.a., "Latin America's U2"), and occupying an address that oozes history (Diana Ross's first venue, Serpico's contact point, Janis Joplin's home...), Santos is a breezy, bi-level resto in a townhouse complex that also includes upstairs apartments for the manager & chef, plus a crash-pad "for, like, anybody". The tradition-heavy menu's got everything from homemade pastas (Whole Wheat Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu and Ricotta Impastata, Cavatelli with Mussels), to meats (Hazelnut-Crusted Swordfish, Grilled Arctic Char), to real meats, e.g., almond-crusted lamb chops and grilled New York Strip w/ beefsteak tomatoes -- the most falsely advertised foodstuff since "Oral Sex Cabbage". As for drinks, Santos is pouring mostly-Euro vino, and suds (Peroni, Corona, etc), plus speciality cocktails named for beautiful women (the Veev/limoncello/Prosecco "Antonella", the Stoli/raspberries/basil "Rafaela") and the men who're too soused to love them (the Stoli Vanilla/apple puree/agave syrup "Spicy Wino").
Santos has a separate entrance for the open-kitchen, VIP downstairs, which'll see the likes of famous artists, beautiful women and, if things get really crazy...Mr. Zildjian?