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Best restaurant bars for drinks

I am looking to have some holiday cocktails with a couple girlfriends and we would like to be in a beautiful restaurant that has a great bar (preferably with bar snack options). Any suggestions?

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  1. Lupa has a good bar. Plus, the bar snack options are no slouch either.

    Peasant also has a good bar with good bar snacks, too.

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    Lupa
    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    3 Replies
    1. re: RCC

      I love eating at Lupa, but the bar is small and always crazy crowded. I'd go to The Modern or Bar Pleiades.

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      Lupa
      170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

      Bar Pleiades
      20 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021

      1. re: ml77

        I agree - the idea of having a drink at the bar at Lupa is not appealing to me. And I do like Bar Pleidades - lately for the Pisco Sours, and the arrancini with fontina cheese and black truffles.

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        Lupa
        170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

        1. re: MMRuth

          I'm not sure I'd call Lupa "beautiful" either. Great place but not really what they seem to be looking for.

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          Lupa
          170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    2. The Bar Room at The Modern, Bar Pleiaides at The Surrey/Cafe Boulud, The Lounge at Daniel, Picholine

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      Picholine
      35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

      5 Replies
        1. re: Spiritchaser

          Love, love, love Bar Pleiades. Cameron Bogue, their head bartender, is a super talent and a nice guy to boot.

          Haven't been, but Del Posto is another option.

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          Del Posto
          85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

          Bar Pleiades
          20 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021

          1. re: loratliff

            If you can swallow the $16 to $28 prices at Del Posto, that is!

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            Del Posto
            85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

          2. re: Spiritchaser

            Another vote for The Modern Bar Room and Gramercy Tavern. Gramercy Tavern has always been crowded, but the atmosphere is fun at both, the cocktails are great and food is excellent. Perhaps a bit more selection of small plates at The Modern.

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            Gramercy Tavern
            42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

            1. re: ChemWork

              I really like GT and would recommend it overall but I don't think it fits into the description "beautiful." The decor is more "upscale farmhouse."

          3. ABC Kitchen is absolutely gorgeous, and has a really terrific bar. And incredible food.

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            ABC Kitchen
            35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

            1. The bar at Eleven Madison Park is quite good and the setting is impressive. They also have a bar menu of small plates.

              I also like the cocktails at Locanda Verde's bar. Couple that with some meatball sliders or the ricotta, and it's a very pleasant evening. Just be careful you're not too close to the hostess stand as it can get drafty when the door opens and closes.

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              Eleven Madison Park
              11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

              Locanda Verde
              377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

              6 Replies
              1. re: kathryn

                Any chance you've been to EMP for drinks since the renovation. I would be curious to know about their bar menu, since it's not on the website anymore.

                1. re: Nancy S.

                  Good question... perhaps I should drop by and check it out!

                  1. re: Nancy S.

                    I went there for after-dinner drinks a couple of week ago. The bar area is beautiful, the service was warm, and the cocktails cost about what high-end drinks cost at other good bars and restaurants. I wish they still offered the two-course lunch menu, though.

                    1. re: encantada

                      You can ask for the 2 course lunch - I had it yesterday.
                      rae305

                    2. re: Nancy S.

                      i just went to 11 madison and ate at the bar, and i had scallops with a citrusy sauce which was great, and steak that was merely very good. I paid about 80 dollars for the two courses with tax and tip, I think. The wine by the glass seemed to be a good deal though I did not drink alcoholl. I had a great time gabbing with the hostesss. Very good - if not the best food that i have had in NYC - food and a good deal for wine. I was there at 6 pm on a Saturday and was able to snag a chair. I will certainly come back when i am in NYC again.

                  2. The bar at WD-50 has top-notch seasonal cocktails, and you can order anything off the food menu.

                    Also fond of the bar at Gramercy Tavern, they shake up some really good ones.

                    Haven't tried the cocktails, but the front room at Collichio & Sons has all kinds of options to snack on. Or across the street from them, Morimoto - though the downstairs bar there I find a little depressing, for some reason. There's something a little dated about it.

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                    WD-50
                    50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                    Gramercy Tavern
                    42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                    Morimoto
                    88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: sgordon

                      It's tough to top Gramercy Tavern for great cocktails and food.Some other places are Gotham Bar and Grill, Piano Due (West 50s) which has a beautiful bar/lounge.High ceilinged room with a large bar in the center and a mural that wraps around the room.It is on a separate floor than the dining room.Also my wife and I have enjoyed drinks and food at Butter(East Village).

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                      Gramercy Tavern
                      42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                      Gotham Bar and Grill
                      12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

                      Piano Due
                      151 West 51st Street, New York, NY 10019

                      1. re: TooLooseLaTrek

                        I've never heard of Butter. What kind of food do they serve?

                        1. re: Pan

                          Not sure how to categorize it.Seasonal American I guess.Not a huge menu,but a mix of pasta,seafood and meat.We've been there a couple of times and sat at the bar.They have a good cocktail list, and interesting wines by the glass as well an extensive wine list.Everything we've had to eat has been very good(ravioli,lobster roll type dish,mac & cheese).There are several different areas.A lounge downstairs(haven't been) and the bar upstairs that overlooks(it's a step or two up from the floor) the main dining room. The space itself is pretty ccol and unique.When you come in off the street you walk through a narrow hallway that has small tables,chairs and bench seating.You can sit here and have drinks and small plates type food.You walk into the main dining area and it has a large vaulted ceiling with a large mural of trees on the back wall.It seems like the mural is backlit.It is an interesting room ,and the food/wine/drinks are good.It's pretty pricey but not outrageous.

                          1. re: TooLooseLaTrek

                            I find the prices outrageous for what they're serving - well, maybe outrageous is an extreme adjective - but they're a bit high for what's on the plate. For the same price you could have dinner at Gramercy Tavern, Collichio & Sons, or any number of other restaurants that have that little "something" that Butter kind of misses. I like them, don't get me wrong - but I think the dishes are all about $5-$10 too high.

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                            Gramercy Tavern
                            42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                            1. re: sgordon

                              When I've been there we've only had drinks and appetizer type dishes at the bar,which we've enjoyed.The dinner menu may be pricey.

                          2. re: Pan

                            You need to spend less time reading about food and more time watching Gossip Girl - here is Butter in all its glory:

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye96X7...

                            Butter used to be Belgo, if that rings a bell.

                      2. Otto has a great bar and snacks.

                        Otto @ 1 5th Ave., New York, NY 212 - 995 - 9559.
                        http://www.ottopizzeria.com/

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Littleman

                          What are the great cocktails you had at the bar at Otto?

                          1. re: Littleman

                            Love the bartenders there (especially the older gentleman) but I think they're better at wine at Otto. And the food is good, but it's rather crowded most of the time at the bar. Hard to get a seat. And it's not an especially beautiful looking restaurant. It's supposed to evoke a train station, you know?

                          2. I think Rayuela is very pretty and I love the Shochu-Sake cocktail. Have one or three, they go down very easily. The guacamole and chips are a good snack for the bar.

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                            Rayuela
                            165 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002

                            1. Have to add: Four Seasons. Get spiffed up, drink some champagne, and make the boys cry!

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                              The Four Seasons
                              99 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

                              1. Employees Only and Macao Trading Co are sexy, fun bars with talented bartenders, gorgeous crowds (but watch out for weekends), and solid food options.

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                                Employees Only
                                510 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

                                Macao Trading Co.
                                311 Church Street, New York, NY 10013

                                1. The bars at Per Se and Marea are beautiful, IMO. though I can't opine on their cocktails, since I'm not much of a drinker.

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                                  Per Se
                                  10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                  Marea
                                  240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                                  1. Pravda on Lafayette and prince is a great underground Vodka bar with drink specialties and great Russian food.

                                    1. Momofuku Ssam Bar has a very extensive list of good cocktails, some of them nicely Asian influenced and others cherry-picked/ripped off from the various upscale cocktail lounges around town. I also think most of the food is strongly spiced enough that it can really stand up to a cocktail.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bworm42

                                        They offer their own house list of cocktails, cocktails from "friends," and a list of the classics. The bar program there was set up by people who used to work at PDT. At least one bartender still works at PDT so "ripped off" is not entirely accurate. However, you cannot go into Ssam Bar just for drinks.

                                      2. agree on ABC kitchen, the modern, and employees only. Also try Bobo which has a great bar area nice cocktains and a good bar menu. Ward3 in tribeca, for their cocktails alone is also a good option. you could also try kingswood but beware of over crowding

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                                        Bobo
                                        181 West 10th Street, New York, NY 10014