Manhattan – Midtown West
1221 Sixth Ave at 49th St
Manhattan, NY 10036
Despite the lavish setting and expense-account menu, this extravagant cocktail lounge is so surprisingly welcoming, it's easy to forget you can't afford it. The drinks deliver: A sugar-free Steve Collins is pleasantly bitter (though it is stevia-sweetened), combining Bombay Sapphire, citrus juices and ginger over crushed ice. The French Forty Eight defies its froufrou fixings (Hendrick's gin, ginger liqueur, Roederer champagne and strawberries), adding up to a balanced treat. While there's plenty here to make us skeptical--the prices, the buttoned-up crowd--the place turns out to be a New York paradox: a destination cocktail lounge in midtown.
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