For the white-collared wayfarers wandering the streets north of Madison Square Park, NoMad is a depressingly apt name. Sure, the neighborhood has seen a much-welcome rise in upstanding restaurants, but finding an any-day gastropub that doesn’t reek of postgrad brewskies is harder to come by. Who better to fill the void than Daniel Humm, Will Guidara and Leo Robitschek, the James Beard Award–winning trio behind neighborhood stunners Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad, who expanded the latter to include this elegant saloon inside the NoMad hotel, teeming with lofty pub grub, digs worthy of 007… oh, and $198 cocktails.
ORDER THIS: Nope, that $198 ticket is not a mirage. The Vieux Carre—flush with 50-year-old cognac—sits pricey under the Reserve Cocktails list, but there are pocket-friendlier picks for those of us outside the 1 percent: a refreshing, textbook Pimm’s Cup ($16) comes with a sharp snap of ginger, and the gin-and-vermouth English Heat ($16) finishes with a satisfying kick of jalapeño-infused agave.
GOOD FOR: A won’t-break-the-bank taste of EMP extravagance. Want to try Humm’s famed carrot tartare without dropping $225? That staple gets tempered down to a $15 clamp-lid jar of ground taproot, dotted with sunflower seeds and a cured quail egg. And the NoMad’s star fowl, the foie gras–and truffle-loaded roasted chicken ($82), also gets a tavern overhaul as a neat potpie ($36) that gets cracked soufflé-style to fit a skewer of seared foie.
THE CLINCHER: With a mob-movie masculinity, the fireplace-lit space harks back to the late 19th century, when the area was dubbed the Tenderloin due to its beefed-up casinos, brothels and crime. Fittingly, the bar is the most boisterous of the hotel’s bunch, a dazzling anomaly of a pub. NoMad’s nomads: Here is your home away from home. —Elyse Wanshel