Since writing this list, I started a guide to great cocktail drinking in NYC, check it out at www.dipsology.com. These bars are all still awesome and on that list though!
Avoid it during prime time – Thursday-Saturday after 10ish – my favorite nights are middle of the week when they have a three piece jazz band. You can stand at the bar, or sit at a little candlelit table. This is one of the original members of Sasha Petraske’s cocktail empire.
Location: Leroy and 7th Ave South
The Lamb’s Club
A bright spot in Midtown, and definitely a go-to if you are in the ‘hood. They have great drinks and snacks – the restaurant downstairs is pretty solid as well. (Also check out Lantern’s Keep down the block, which I wrote about here.)
Location: 130 West 44th St, between 6th and 7th Ave
At the Carlyle Hotel. Old school New York, with all the waiters in white dinner jackets and a strictly classic menu. Great live jazz although there is a cover. The spicy cheese crackers are addictive.
Location: 35 East 76th Street at Madison Avenue
Raines Law Room (drawback: often a long wait), PDT (that would be Please Don’t Tell; you enter through a phone booth. Make a reservation.), Pegu Club, Angel’s Share (enter through a Japanese restaurant)