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Manhattans in Manhattan

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Recently, my husband and I have been on a quest to find the best Manhattans in the city. Our favorites so far have been at Pegu Club, Angel's Share, and Flatiron Lounge. Last week, we finally made it to Gin Lane, whose cocktails we'd heard so much about. The Perfect Manhattan had clearly been shaken--there was a noticeable layer of foam on the top
--and it had little ice chips floating in it. I also thought the drink tasted watery.

My first question is this: I always thought the proper way to make a Manhattan is to stir it--am I wrong? Is it more a matter of personal preference?
Also, Gin Lane is always mentioned in the threads about where to find the best cocktails--do you all think they're on the same level as Pegu, Flatiron, Gramercy and the other top-tier cocktail places? Were we just there on an off night?
--Sarah
http://www.avenuefood.com

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  1. The little bar in the Algonquin Hotel. It's as if they invented the Manhattan, and for all I know, perhaps they did.

    - Sean