The best new hotel bars: Bar Pleiades
Tue Dec 15 2009
The Surrey, 20 E 76th St between Fifth and Madison Aves (212-772-2600). Subway: 6 to 77th St. Daily noon--midnight. Average cocktail: $18.
Designer Lauren Rottet crafted this deco beauty as a nod to Coco Chanel, an homage that’s quite appropriate in the heart of the Upper East Side. The bar, owned by Daniel Boulud and located across the Surrey lobby from Caf Boulud, is framed in black lacquered panels that recall an elegant makeup compact. If you’re used to sipping serious cocktails in neo-speakeasies, the luxe setting and monied, buttoned-up crowd might seem a little stiff. But the drinks, crafted by Cameron Bogue (from DB Bistro Moderne in Vancouver), are so exquisitely executed and downright delicious, you won’t mind sharing your banquette with a suit. As at Caf Boulud, the menu is divided into four categories: “la tradition” (classics), “la saison” (seasonal), “le potager” (vegetal), and “le voyage” (global). Among the three traditional tipples was a gorgeous Sloe Gin Fizz ($16), an easy-sipping stunner that combined tart Plymouth sloe gin with lemon juice and homemade rhubarb bitters, crowned with a silky egg-white head. The aptly named La Terre ($15, from le potager) is an earthy, complex blend of red vermouth, Aperol, grapefruit juice and beet-infused gin (made in-house, as are many of the tinctures, bitters and infusions). Bogue’s mixology finds a fine complement in a selection of canaps from Caf Boulud. Arriving on a tiered silver platter are savory mouthfuls like flaky gougres and arancini with flecks of black truffle. All of this refinement will cost you: Canaps for four is $28, and cocktails top out at $19. It’s well worth the price.
BACK TO MAIN PAGE
The best new hotel bars