The best new hotel bars: Ace Hotel New York
Tue Dec 15 2009
The Breslin bar
20 W 29th St at Broadway (212-679-2222). Subway: N, R, W to 28th St. Daily noon--2am. Average drink: $9.
When the Ace Hotel opened a New York outpost last spring, it brought with it the city’s first Stumptown caf, guaranteeing early-morning crowds in need of artisan coffee. But the massive space, its soaring ceiling punctuated by trunk-thick columns, has ended up having more than just a.m. appeal; it’s become a popular spot for all types, at all hours. Techies punch away on their laptops along library-style communal tables, models strut to and fro, small groups spread out on mismatched sofas, and flannel-clad hipsters huddle around the bar at the back of the wood-paneled room. The crowd also tends to spill into the Breslin, the Ace Hotel’s sceney restaurant from Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield (both of the Spotted Pig). This paean to British cookery features two pubby bars (one downstairs and one in an upstairs mezzanine); Friedman and Bloomfield also operate the lobby bar, which offers a menu similar to its Breslin counterparts. Among the many great suds, don’t miss the proprietary Breslin Aberdeen ($8) by Sixpoint Craft Ales, a hand-pumped, cask-conditioned, Scotch-style ale. The barely chilled brew has only the slightest carbonation and a pleasant acidity that goes down easy. We also fell hard for the Breslin Bloody Mary ($11), a version that gives horseradish-spiked organic tomato juice and vodka a crowning garnish of pickled vegetables and smoked okra. Bloomfield’s lip-smacking fare—“thrice-cooked chips” (some of the best thick-cut fries you’ll find; $7); a crunchy and gooey three-cheese grilled cheese sandwich ($16); and a board of cured meats, sausages and housemade terrines ($16)—makes an ideal companion to the drinks.
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The best new hotel bars