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Classic Cocktails in Manhattan

lingonberry May 16, 2012 10:30 AM

Hi everyone-

My father is coming to visit me in Manhattan for the weekend and has requested a night at a classic NY cocktail bar. We're talking no-frills Manhattans/Martinis, a knowledgeable bartender and an old-fashioned NY decor. Not too worried about cost, but we don't need it to be stuffy either. It can also be a restaurant! Wondering if anyone has any ideas or favorites.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. k
    kathryn RE: lingonberry May 16, 2012 10:41 AM

    The bar at Monkey Bar might work. Good cocktails (list is done by Julie Reiner of Flatiron Lounge, Clover Club, Lani Kai), great decor. Might be a little loud due to the after work crowd, but a Saturday will probably be OK.

    Another good option would be the pub room at Keens Chophouse. Say hi to Miss Keens at the bar, and don't forget to peruse their amazing scotch list.

    See also:

    5 Replies
    1. re: kathryn
      Sneakeater RE: kathryn May 16, 2012 10:43 AM

      Also, although perhaps a bit dingier than lingonberry's father would like, the downstairs bar at Sardi's, with the redoubtable Jose behind the bar. Just don't eat there.

      Strong second for the bar at Keens.

      1. re: Sneakeater
        lingonberry RE: Sneakeater May 16, 2012 12:16 PM

        All great suggestions, thanks- the Times link is really helpful. Perhaps we'll do several. I'm sure he'd also love a classic dingier NY bar. And an amazing Scotch list!? How did you know?

        1. re: lingonberry
          Sneakeater RE: lingonberry May 16, 2012 12:28 PM

          If you can pry him from the Scotch list, tell your father that the Manhattans at Keens are really superb.

          1. re: Sneakeater
            lingonberry RE: Sneakeater May 16, 2012 12:31 PM

            Absolutely, he'll love that. Thanks!

      2. re: kathryn
        JMF RE: kathryn May 18, 2012 05:00 AM

        The Bar at Monkey Bar has always been packed to the rafters the several times I have been there recently. I only go because Ms. Franky Marshall is one of the best bartenders in the country. She won several competitions in the last week alone.

      3. r
        r32nissan RE: lingonberry May 16, 2012 11:30 AM

        I was at Union Square Cafe, and whilst not a bar (there is a bar there) the menu featured nicely classic Negroni's and Old fashiond's - which is important in my book.

        1. s
          Sneakeater RE: lingonberry May 16, 2012 11:57 AM

          It's too bad the current bartenders at the King Cole Bar are so terrible.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sneakeater
            hazelhurst RE: Sneakeater May 16, 2012 12:09 PM

            I was wondering why the King Cole wasn't mentioned. I am sorry to hear that..it was my go-to after Cafe des Artiste died and when the Oak Bar was closed. I guess I'll have to settle for one of those caves on W 44th.

          2. c
            City Kid RE: lingonberry May 17, 2012 07:21 AM

            Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle is, to me, the quintessential Manhattan bar. Art Deco decor -- brown leather banquettes, black granite bar, and a 24-karat gold leaf-covered ceiling -- with fabulous, whimsical murals by Ludwig Bemelmans, the Madeline books illustrator...and of course all the classic cocktails. Just delightful!

            2 Replies
            1. re: City Kid
              Spiritchaser RE: City Kid May 17, 2012 09:09 AM

              Great atmosphere, okay drinks, ridiculous prices.

              1. re: Spiritchaser
                Sneakeater RE: Spiritchaser May 17, 2012 12:10 PM

                I wouldn't even call the drinks "OK".

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