Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Feb 25, 2011 07:12 AM

Birthday Eats and Drinks Tonight - Finishing Touches - Stumped for Pre-Dinner Cocktails

It's my birthday!

We have dinner reservations at 8:30 at Alto (53rd Btwn Park / Mad) and an 11:00 reservation for post-dinner cocktails at Milk and Honey. I have the rooftop bar at the Empire in mind for a final night-cap since we're staying near Lincoln Center.

What to do before all that is the problem.

We're meeting my sister-in-law around 6:30-7:00 for pre-dinner drinks and because of the rain / wind forecast, I figured it made sense to do that close to Alto. We plan to have a drink at the bar at Alto as well, but I wanted to do something else first. Normally, I'm a mid-century modern girl and The Modern, Casa Lever and Sprig are all under consideration. However, because it's a special occasion, and the weather is awful, somewhere with big, comfy chairs, moody lighting and maybe even a fireplace appeals. I know all the nearby hotel bars would work for that, but I'm not sure I'm in the mood for that either! Gilt, which looks a bit cold, is probably the closest to the restaurant. Finally, I just came across The Bar Downstairs @ Andaz and while it's a bit farther, it looks lovely.

How about whoever can make me the best Lemon Drop Martini wins? I'm late to the party, and have just noticed that vodka is liquor non grata these days, but I've also recently discovered how much I love the perfect sweet tartness of a good Lemon Drop.

Any brilliant ideas???

Oh, and once tomorrow's hangover subsides, we have brunch at Locanda Verde, a matinee and then dinner at Graffiti.

My kind of birthday!

Milk and Honey
134 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Casa Lever
390 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Honestly, for a class cocktail in a nice room, close to Alto I don't think you can do better than The Bar Room at The Modern.

    Death and Co may be one of the better places around for a drink but that is way out of the way. You could also hit the bar at Aquavit (55th Park/Mad) for a cocktail, though prob not a lemon drop.

    You may want to move your nightcap from The Empire which can get a bit crowded with the young and single to Bar Boulod or the new Lincoln Restaurant. Both are within a block or two of the Empire

    And have a great birthday, those are some elaborate plans

    1 Reply
    1. re: msny98

      I didn't even think of Lincoln. Great idea!

      I agree, the Modern might be our best bet for pre-dinner.


    2. It's 10 blocks south, but Campbell Apartment sounds like it fits your needs perfectly. Happy Birthday!

      Campbell Apartment
      89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

      1 Reply
      1. re: Barcelonian

        You know, I really wanted to love the Campbell Apartment. We took friends from out of town last year for post-dinner drinks and while the room is gorgeous, the drinks were, literally undrinkable. We had to send them back! We had their special punch drink and I don't know if the bartender went out for a smoke and left the bus boy in charge or what, but all six of us were horrified. They made us something else which was equally dismal and though we all had a good laugh about it later, I don't think I can bring myself to go back, unless I'm waiting for a train. But then, I'd probably just go to Cipriani or the Oyster Bar!!

        Campbell Apartment
        89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017