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Good bars to head to if not in our 20s?!

I will be travelling to NYC Sept. 2 - 6 with my mom and my aunt. This is their first visit and this will be my 3rd time. We are coming from Toronto and Montreal. I have a pretty good idea of where to eat after reading these boards, but I am stuck on places to go out at night. I'm in my 30s and they are in their 50s. Don't want to go anywhere too stuffy but not wanting to hit up dance clubs either. Any recommendations for bars to go to (preferably not pubs) would be appreciated. Can be a wine bar, place with good cocktails, live music. We are staying in Midtown, but open to places in Soho, Greenwich, LES.

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  1. pegu club on houston has a nice, mixed clientele. so does brandy library in tribeca. id avoid these types of places on the weekends. the weekdays, you get a better crowd anyway.

    one of my favorite bars is the blue ribbon wine bar on downing. its small but the bartenders always make room for you and its a great place with a small group.

    two other places that would be perfect would be turks and frogs in the west village and entwine...a new wine bar on washington near the meatpacking area (but more west village). very casual. turks tends to have huge markups on their wine but i guess its common. i have yet to find a dedicated 'wine bar' that had an excellent selection with good value.

    like i said, the key is weekday nights. on the weekends, linger at the restaurant bars after or before dinner.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sam1

      I second Pegu Club and Blue Ribbon. The cocktails at pegu are pricy (like $20) but they are amazingly good. Neat, relaxed atmosphere.

      i had a great time at Blue Ribbon. Friendly crowd, cozy & simple atmosphere and great bone marrow, oysters, etc.

      Another suggestion - Rose Bar at Gramercy Park Hotel. Very similiar to Pegu. Great crafted cocktails.

      I know someone below suggested Please Don't Tell (PDT) - I thought that was the most ridiculous place. Really, to stand in a phone booth in a hotdog joint and wait to be beckoned in the bar by a snotty hostess - weird! The atmosphere is very dark, low ceilings and just not comfortable at all. It's all about the gimmick, IMHO.

      1. re: lynnlato

        I agree that certain hostesses at PDT can be rather rude and abrupt with some people. It seems like it's not an uncommon problem.

        But while the drink quality at Pegu Club compares pretty favorably to PDT, the Rose Bar isn't even close, despite their high prices.

        1. re: lynnlato

          I don't understand how PDT could be characterized as "all about the gimmick." They're putting out some of the best cocktails in the entire country.

          Pegu's cocktails are $13/$14, like almost every other cocktail bar at that level in the city.

          1. re: daisy17

            The cocktails we had @ PDT were decent, but everything else was corny. Again, IMHO. Perhaps the cocktails were overshadowed by our wait in the phone booth. My friend really enjoyed the bacon-infused bourbon. Bon Appetit interviewed a couple of their bartenders for a piece about fizz cocktails in the August '09 edition, fyi.

            At Pegu, their Red Pepper cocktail was deliciously sweet & spicy. Pepper infused tequila blanco mixed with yellow chartreuse, St. Germaine Elderflower liquer and fresh basil - mmmm.

            I liked the mosquito cocktail I had at Rose Bar. Again, tequila blanco, elderflower liquer, fresh basil, cointreau and agave syrup.

            But, if we're just talking cocktails, the pear cosmo at Bar Boulud was my favorite. GG pear vodka, elderflower, lime juice, white cranberry juice and a garnish of crystalized jellied pear.

            These cocktails were so good, I took notes. :)

      2. Temple Bar is very civilized, but not stuffy at all. I also like The Ten Bells, which is a little louder and more crowded (wine and beer only).

        http://www.templebarnyc.com/
        http://www.thetenbells.com/

        1. I stopped by N, 33 Crosby @ Grand St., a few months ago. The drinks were tasty, as were the tapas, and the scene was pretty agreeable. By way of generational and foodie credentials, this was with my wife (we're in our 50's), and with a friend of ours, a pastry chef in her 40's. The place opens daily at 5PM.

          1. Thanks for all the suggestions. They all look great.

            1. For a sports bar, if you have any interest in that. Blondie's tends to attract a older 30+ crowd. Sometimes you will get a few 20 something in there, but its not as common. Oh yeah http://blondiessports.com/