Joe Santos (co-founder of Brooklyn Gin) and I hit up a bunch of new bars on Wednesday nite that had been on my to-do list for a while. Mostly downtown. Favorites included The Garret, Boilermaker, and Dear Irving. The new Raines Law Room at The William Hotel on 39th Street is a gorgeous space but just too damned stuffy (ask to be seated in the bar area vs. the library and make sure you order some of the bar food – really delish!), The Nomad just sucks – I know everyone raves about it, but man it is just too full of itself!! I really wanted to check out The Happiest Hour but it was closed for a private event. Word to the wise: If you’re planning to go to any cool spot between now and Christmas, it’s a good idea to call ahead to see if they are open to the public vs. booked for a holiday party.
Pics and more reviews after the break.
The 5-stars go to:
The Garret, 296 Bleecker, entrance is in back of 5 Guys Burgers. Walk to the back and head up the stairs. Great vibe, friendly bartenders, good cocktails (and they carry Brooklyn Gin!!). If this place were closer to me, would definitely be one of my favorite local go-tos.
Dear Irving, 55 Irving Place, is hella good!!! By the same people as Raines Law Room but so much friendlier and a funner vibe. Still pretty fancy but they’ve dialed down the pretense substantially. Would definitely come back here – you can make reservations!! Food is also good – we had lobster rolls and the frozen lemon bar – both delish!! Drinks are really good! I had the Vice Versa (Crisp and bubbly with a floral nose and dry finish!) and Joe had the Hero of Little Venice (aged rum, sweet vermouth, root beer and egg!).
Boilermaker, 13 First Avenue at 1st Street. LOVE this place – the last stop on our bar crawl, Joe ran into some industry people and it was a super chill vibe. Good cocktails – not super fancy but definitely a place I’ll go back to especially earlier in the week when it is not raging.
3.5 stars to:
Raines Law Room at the William Hotel, 24 East 39th Street. We did not have a reservation and there was a private party in the space. By the time we finally got up there, the library was virtually empty. I so wanted to love this place but the pretense of getting in is just too much. Cocktails were good (not earth-shattering) but the bar food was really good. I do like the little button they have at each table for you to ring for service!!
2 stars to:
The Nomad Bar, 10 West 28th Street. Have been here a couple of times, just too stuffy and peculiar layout for me. I’m clearly in the minority, the place was jammed but it’s definitely a suit kind of place.