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What are your favorite places in Manhattan to have some drinks?

I realize this has been covered to a certain extent already and the usual mentions are Pegu Club,PDT,Death & Co,Flatiron Lounge,etc.What I'm wondering is where do you most enjoy going out for a few drinks?The only criteria is that it has to have very good cocktails.For me some other pluses are a good beer and wine selection,friendly & competent service,some tasty food to nosh on.My favorite cocktail longes are Pegu and Flatiron,although I haven't been to some the others that are considered top tier.But I find that I really enjoy a good restaurant bar like Gramercy Tavern.I enjoy having a few drinks with a lively buzz from people dining at tables in the background.Some other restaurant bars that I like are Keens,Dylan Prime,Giorgio's of Gramercy and The Harrison.A place that doesn't make the cut for me is the bar at Bryant Park.It's a great setting but the quality of the drinks there is lacking.What are some places that you look forward to going to for quality cocktails and what else do you look for in addition to good drinks?

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  1. There are various criteria that make a spot for me. I love the good conversation and friendliness of a knowledgable character behind the bar so I love the folks at Lederhosen for my beers. But when I'm in a cocktail mood, as much as I love the concoctions at Little Branch, I hate the crowds and noise and prefer to book it to Elettaria. Their food and cocktails take a lot more thought than the bellini crowd can muster. If I really need to get away from the noise, I used to go to Angel's Share, but now that the secret's out, I rely on more under the radar recommendations to escape NYC in a smokey Scotch.

    1. Bemelman's at the Carlyle - excellent cocktails - including the Pisco Sour, which is available even though it's not on the drink menu.

      1. terroir on e 12th st has a great selection of wines and the beet risotto balls with gorgonzola cheese are amazing. try to go at an off hour since the place is tiny.

        2 Replies
        1. re: tkm616

          "The only criteria is that it has to have very good cocktails"

          1. re: KTinNYC

            oh, thank you chowhound police. cocktails.. freemans, milk and honey, b flat

        2. Blue Ribbon Downing Street Wine Bar. Downing at Bedford.

          4 Replies
          1. re: chow_gal

            Upholstery Store is a great new spot

              1. re: KTinNYC

                Sorry about that KTinNYC. Just wine at Upholstery Store.

                Good cocktails: Macao Trading Company, Ward III in Tribeca, Raine's Law Room, Casa la Femme (at bar), Kingswood lounge, Macondo

                1. re: liztish

                  Thanks for the responses.I have heard good things about Raines Law Room and the Tabla Bread Bar sounds like one to try also.As MM Ruth mentioned Bemelman's is a great hotel bar.I've been disappointed with some other hotel bars like the Waldorf and the Riz-Carlton midtown.Both are great places to drink in but the drinks I've had at both were only ok.The reason for my OP is that having some great drinks with friends in a warm,relaxed atmosphere is one of the best ways I can think of to spend an evening.Not THE best way mind you,but certainly near the top of my list.

          2. I enjoy Apotheke on Doyers strret Chinatown. Its a old drug den turned into a cocktail bar.