35 E 76th St, New York, NY | Directions 1002140.774358 -73.963528
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Upper East Side
Bemelmans Bar rightly has a reputation as being hoity-toity, a meeting place for Manhattan grandees and society matrons. And while that may be true to some extent, it's also a matchless example of New York at its most sophisticated and timeless. If you want to not look like a rube or a trendster, this is the move.
This timeless bar draws up a cocktail list to match. – The Carlyle Hotel's bar and cabaret club has hosted well-heeled travelers and Upper East Siders since opening, in 1929. Restored murals depicting Central Park scenes populated by debonair rabbits and foxes, by beloved "Madeline" author Ludwig Bemelmans, make the room an enduring treasure. The gold-leaf ceiling, coupled with subdued lighting, gives the crowd a healthy glow. Cocktail hour is prime time, when patrons gab over drinks and evocative piano music. (Does someone request "As Times Goes By" every night?) The drink list is seasonal, unlike the crowd, which is consistent year round.
Ultimate Hotel Bar – Arguably the finest hotel bar in New York. Clubby, cozy, dark and with the terrific Bemelmans murals. Each table has it's own lamp and snacks. Old style elegance and good service. The drinks are VERY expensive ($15-$20) but can be very good. I had the best Martini I've ever had there and it's quite large. They fill the glass and also bring you additional martini in a little carafe nestled in it's own bowl of ice, allowing you to refill yourself. For the ultimate hotel bar experience this (as well as the St. Regis or Plaza) is the place to go. One caution: they will charge you the $20 cover if the entertainment starts while you are there.
old nyc classy – always a good choice if you're into the old nyc uptown style....you still feel bobby short's prescence......you'll pay for it though but it's worth it for one
Try Once – Although the drinks are good and the atmosphere is very nice, it's not really worth it. The cocktails are about $15 each and it is kind of stuffy and old world; definitely not hip or trendy.
Bring a favorite friend or a date – ...and relax into the cozy, secluded booths and tables. The staff, though somewhat condescending (esp. to younger patrons), will leave you alone to talk for hours if need be. The piano player takes requests, so take advantage. Great for after-work or pre-dinner, weekdays or weekends.
Classic New York Charm – Old world atmoshere. It has been there forever, so drinks are perfected. Don't expect anyone in their twenties or thirties, unless there with relatives or working a sugar daddy. The subtle renovations are a great addition, without being a detraction.
bartending pros – It'd be tough to find a better group of bartenders than they've got at Bemelmans. It's a thrill to get a cocktail here.
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