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Cocktails (after 4 hour exam) & before dinner at Marseille?

I have an exam this Saturday at 53rd & 6th Avenue. Did my homework and we plan to have dinner at nearby Marseille (44th & 9th Avenue). We need a place for cocktails (and maybe a light nosh) from 5 PM-ish until 7 PM. These are a few possibilities that came up when I did a search of this site:

Kemia Bar (44th & 9th)
Pentop at Peninsula Hotel
Chambers Hotel, Upper Lobby
The London
Sortie (51st & 8/9th)
Riposo (44th & 9th)
Perdition (48th & 10th)

Must haves - quiet, not a scene, non-touristy (if possible in midtown/hell's kitchen), not pretentious/no attitude, cozy preferred over modern, a good place to unwind after a 4 hour exam. Would appreciate your suggestions.

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  1. I really like Zanzibar 49th and 9th i think? Especially, a booth towards the back, there's lower lighting and it's quieter. Had a great night with a gf there, just chatting. Mostly I just like how well-made their drinks are.

    I've been to Perdition and it was quite a disappointment with no atmosphere at all. I wanted somewhere chill but it was dead silent. Kemia didn't do for me either though I was there on a Saturday night and it was just overwhelming for such a small space.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kelea

      Thanks. Zanzibar sounds like it might be exactly what I'm looking for.

    2. kemia is great, though a bit quiet. fresh rose petals strewn around the corners, great decor and lighting, fantastic cocktails, and a little food menu that unfortunately no longer has the chocolate tagine

      1. I like riposo, they have a nice wine selection and some yummy snacks! though it's tiny, and no booths, if that's what you have your heart set on. good luck on the exam!

        1. Sortie will probably be nice and quiet in the afternoon on a saturday, you can grab a table or chat with the staff at the bar.
          I think Zanzibar will be completely dead at that hour (45th and 9th) if it's even open at all, it's more a nighttime going out destination in the neighborhood.
          A couple other recommendations:
          Valhalla (54th and 9th) has an amazing international beer selection, well-made martinis and a very relaxed vibe (no food, but you can order into the bar from any of the local restaurants).
          'Disiac (on 54th just west of 9th) is a tiny tiny place with nice summery cocktails (try the watermelon) and some good snack food (the hummus and falafel hits the spot). The draw here is they have a nice little garden in the back which should be open.

          1. Many of those choices are perfectly good, but if you want a hidden jewel, check out 'disiac on 54th bet 9th and 10th. Small setting with an outdoor garden and terrific cocktails.

            If its before dinner, im guessing you won't have to fight a crowd. After dinner, not so sure.

            They serve food too....I cant speak to it accept for the apple pie at 2 am, which was delicious, but i suspect most anything would have been.