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Fabulous Cocktails

Any suggestions for taking a California guest for a fabulous, upscale place for cocktails. TIA

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  1. If you're looking for trendy the roof of the Gansevoort has good cocktails, albeit expensive, and amazing views.

    1. I like the bar at the Thompson Hotel (aka Kittichai) - fun cocktails, people watching and in this lovely weather, you can sit outside.

      1. In descending order:

        Pegu Club (serves food)
        Employees Only (serves food)
        Little Branch (oyster bar) and Milk and Honey (no food) both Sasha Petraske’s joints are great if they are open and you can get a reservation.

        All four of these places serve excellent painstakingly made cocktails.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowcito

          These are great suggestions and I am hoping to be drinking heavily at Pegu Club tonight.

        2. Pegu Club is definitely one of my favorites, but recently I've also started going to Flatiron Lounge, which also focuses on great cocktails (there is some connection - I think the owner of Pegu used to work there). Every night they have a "flight" of three tasting portions of similarly-themed cocktails that is a can't miss (and adds up to about 5 drinks or so - be careful...).

          1. I had great cocktails at Pegu when they first opened. I have however, not been back since the owner was nasty and rude to my wife when she was there with some friends. Have heard similar stories from others since, which is unfortunate. I know Soho House is member/guest thing, but they have great bar tenders, and mixology rules the day. Double 7 on 14th St. is also my pick for quiet, non-club like AAA+ cocktails without all the scene, get in early, as it is a small space.

            2 Replies
            1. re: noodles

              Owner = Audrey Saunders? I'm a bit surprised to hear that... I've always had very good experiences with her.

              1. re: noodles

                Too bad about the Pegu experience...i've only been there once, but the cocktail i had was delicious...

                i can't say i agree about Soho House though...when it had just opened it was fun, but i was there a couple weeks ago and the atmosphere was so foul and the service awful (botched drink orders, gross errors on the bill, servers nowhere in sight, etc)...

              2. How about the Brandy Library? Also, maybe the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central; it's touristy, but your guest is a tourist, right?

                1. Thanks to all. It is now in her hands.

                  1. I would rank top NYC cocktails (at least for innovative drinks) at:

                    Milk & Honey (still number one IMHO)
                    East Side Company Bar (same owners, lower prices, take credit cards)
                    Flatiron Lounge
                    Little Branch
                    Employees Only

                    I had several cocktails at Pegu Club and found them all disappointing. For atmosphere and more "traditional" cocktails I'd second Brandy Library and Campbell Apartment.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: jonasblank

                      Well, personal taste I guess, but I find Pegu Club to be far and away the most serious cocktail-geek place in the city. Shame that you didn't have a great experience, but it can't be that bad if Dave Wondrich and all the other booze-nerds are there pretty much every time I visit. Plus, they have some of the most notable bartenders in NYC working there.

                      I only tried East Side Company once, but I was actually pretty disappointed with all the drinks we ordered. The bartender seemed to have a very heavy hand with the simple syrup, so everything was way too sweet.

                      1. re: danoots

                        I was at Pegu on a Friday night-- it was 90 percent 23 year old investment bankers drinking beers. That might have made it harder to get a properly mixed drink.

                        Just went back to ESCB - and you're right, they were very heavy on the simple syrup. I do still like M&H though.

                        1. re: jonasblank

                          You should know better than to go out on a Friday night in Manhattan! ;) It's much better Sunday-Wednesday, not during the amateur hour of Thursday-Saturday. (Who in their right mind would order beer at this lounge?)

                      2. re: jonasblank

                        I'm DYING to try Milk N' Honey! Could Jonas or someone else hook me up with the info so I can get in??


                        Thanks in advance!!

                      3. Angel's Share is a very cool spot as well - not clubbish but maybe a place for your first drink of the night - the bar manager has the best "shake" I've ever seen. It's fun to go with an open mind and let him create a drink for you.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jona2325

                          Yes they do classics very well and they have some great cocktails using Japanese ingredients like yuzu and shiso. The back room somehow feels like you're on a train--love it. Much nicer experience up front now that there's no smoking!

                        2. Milk N Honey is unlisted though right? How would one gain access ?

                          1. There's a very tiny bar at Scott Conant's Alto in midtown run by a serious cocktail geek who mixes some wickedly good drinks.

                            1. i agree with pegu club, east side company bar, flatiron lounge and brandy library.

                              for more of a restaurant, i'd also add 'public' -- not up to the level of the others mentionned -- but still very good. pomegranate and lychee mojito's and the like, with a good wine list.

                                1. Angel's Share, Milk & Honey, Bed, Flatiron Lounge.

                                  Actually, there are so many...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. Yeah, they have some really fresh muddled fruity cocktails. Their head bartenders won a prestigious cocktail award this past May:


                                    1. Wow - interesting - thanks for the info!