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the best manhattan in manhattan?

millerd May 26, 2004 01:33 PM

so where does one find the best manhattan?

so far the best i've had has been at babbo. i'm not sure what they used that was so extraordinary, but i'd love to sample a few more that compare.

i'm actually more interested in bars than restaurants for this request, but thoughts on either would be welcome.

  1. g
    gingercakes May 26, 2004 01:45 PM

    I've also liked the Manhattan at Tropica.

    1. l
      lofas May 26, 2004 01:49 PM

      Flatiron Lounge.

      For manhattans and virtually every other drink. A great classy space with excellent service.

      Hope this helps.

      1. c
        Caitlin Wheeler May 26, 2004 01:52 PM

        Temple Bar on Lafayette. They make them with rye (better) or Maker's Mark. They also have fantastic champagne cocktails, and really good fried calamari.

        1. n
          Nathan May 26, 2004 02:37 PM

          Milk & Honey and the Bemelmans Bar

          1. h
            Hon May 26, 2004 03:53 PM

            I second Flatiron Louge (great Old Fashioneds!) but I have to say the best Manhattan I have ever had in Manhattan was at the Blue bar in the Algonquin. Great old bartender with a bow tie, make sure you ask for it with Crown Royal or Marker's Mark.

            1. m
              mrnyc May 26, 2004 03:55 PM

              for a mnhattan or any other classic great drink try either the genteel gentlemen at the KING COLE BAR in the st. regis hotel or the fanatic scientists at ANGEL'S SHARE.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mrnyc
                Steve Harrington May 26, 2004 07:19 PM

                King Cole Bar is very cool. What is Angel's Share?

                1. re: Steve Harrington
                  hanover May 27, 2004 05:15 AM

                  Angel's Share is a romantic and classy little bar on 9th street just off of 3rd avenue. The bar is hidden inside a Japanese restaurant called Village Yokocho and you have to go up a flight of stairs, through the restaurant and then through another door to find the bar.

                2. re: mrnyc
                  K. McB. May 27, 2004 02:34 PM


                3. k
                  K. McB. May 26, 2004 04:07 PM

                  My choice would be the Bemelmans Bar, most hotel bars, or older restaurants. PJ Clarke's used to make a delicious, very standard Manhattan, but I haven't been lately. I noticed that places that make good, tangy Manhattans use Seagrams 7, my top spirit choice for a Manhattan if I can't have rye (which 99.9 percent of restaurants and bars in NYC don't carry); they mix them 2- or 3-1; they use bitters. I'm not fond of many Manhattans I've been served at upscale and young, trendy spots, where the fancy bourbon overpowers the mixture, vermouth is skimped on (akin to them newfangled vodka barrels now called martinis), and bitters are omitted.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: K. McB.
                    efdee May 27, 2004 11:37 AM

                    Question for K. McB and other Manhattan lovers: what rye would you recommend?

                    1. re: efdee
                      KB May 27, 2004 12:51 PM

                      I've found that the Wild Turkey rye is great, but have been meaning to try others & am definitely not an authority.

                      1. re: efdee
                        K. McB. May 27, 2004 02:31 PM

                        I prefer Old Overholt (aka Old Overcoat).

                      2. re: K. McB.
                        Nosher Jul 5, 2006 03:22 AM

                        You really can never go wrong with Bemelmans for mixed drinks. Great suggestion-- it's precisely what I would have recommended.


                        NYCnosh: http://nycnosh.com

                      3. m
                        mark r May 28, 2004 04:11 PM

                        Passerby on 15th street. they put a lot of care in their cocktails.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mark r
                          jungirl Jul 5, 2006 08:28 PM

                          i second this. toby, the owner of the bar and beverage editor for numerous publications, makes an amazing manhattan. he also wrote "cosmopolita: a bartender's life", and is credited with inventing the recipe for the cosmo of what it is today. he works most wed and thurs and mascerates his own cherries. i think i knock back manhattans as fast as i do to get to the cherry quicker.

                          i also REALLY enjoyed the manhattans at Mas, at the bar. amazing.

                        2. w
                          wazup1999 Jul 4, 2006 05:59 PM

                          The best Rye I've had so far is Black Maple Hills. It is made in small batches by a family owned distillery. Google it and you'll find better info but I've tried many in the past and the gentleman who found that Old Turkey is "great" will be blown away. The turkey is made in massive quantities with lots of adulteration to the process as a whole. Best of luck in search of a great manhattan. Cheers!

                          1. Rubee Jul 4, 2006 06:56 PM

                            Although I live in Boston, I've drank more than my fair share of cocktails on frequent trips to NY! I've had excellent Manhattans at Bemelman's, Angel's Share, and the King Cole Bar. And like K.McB, I prefer Old Overholt.

                            1. h
                              hon Jul 4, 2006 07:03 PM

                              The Old Homestead makes a killer Maker's Mark Manhattan and it's big!!!

                              1. Wilfrid Jul 5, 2006 02:18 PM

                                The best cocktails bars in town are listed already. The one which flies under the radar is the small bar at the front of Alto in midtown, which is staffed by excellent mixers. Ask them for a Manhattan made with Carpano Antica, a very special vermouth.

                                1. m
                                  mrnyc Jul 5, 2006 09:42 PM

                                  just to add on here: LITTLE BRANCH and EMPLOYEES ONLY in the west village make excellent manhattans.

                                  the former has old overholt, but they suggest another rye instead, sorry i dk the name.

                                  ps-- we were doing some rye tastings this winter. i have a fancy bottle of rye at home, the old cask, and it is fantastic. a great midrange rye (really great) is sazerac and a great inexpensive rye is rittenhouse. LENELL'S in red hook will give you tastings and set you up, she is a rye/bourbon expert.

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