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New York Upscale (and would-be) Bars


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#1 Wilfrid

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 12:46 AM

I think I should review the kinds of bars nobody cares about.

21 Club Not the classic semi-circular bar in the dining room (which is a joy, but standing only); the “new” bar just as you turn into the lounge. Excellent classic martini. Seasoned bartender who had worked a lot of places, knew his history, and could tell some stories. Theoretically jackets for gents, but not if you’re a friend of the house.

Bar at the Ritz-Carlton Spotless, comfortable, very good martini. Service excellent, almost too much. Good snacks.

Old King Cole You have to be lucky to get a seat at this bar (I stopped trying for years). If you do, good drinks, first rate complimentary nuts (etc). The bartenders here have been around the block; ironic but solicitous.

Lamb’s Club Upstairs. The entrance and greeting are grand, but the second floor is so capacious, there’s no atmosphere even when people are dining there. No conversation with bartender, no snacks, competent drink.

Blue Room at the Algonquin Swift service from hotel staff. Martini big, but not cold. The ambience ruined by these really piercing blue lights embedded in the bar.

The Rickey at the Dream Midtown. Nice ambience early evening, and bar staff trying to create a downtown mixologist vibe. Good drinks, but signs clearly warning of DJs later in the evening.

Bar Pleiades adjacent Cafe Boulud. Good drinks and top level service, professional, personable, even funny. Zero atmosphere.

Every place mentioned had comfortable bar seating, Blue Room seats a little low (@ Attaboy).

#2 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 01:20 AM

I use the bar at the grill regularly. It works as a high end option in the nabe

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#3 Wilfrid

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 02:32 AM

You mean what used to be the bar at the Four Seasons?

#4 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 03:28 AM

Yes

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#5 Wilfrid

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 11:53 PM

The stools at the Ludlow Hotel’s bar look gorgeous, but they’re not comfortable. Bartenders are harried because they’re making drinks for the whole big lobby area.

No snacks.