The sumptuous dark-wood aesthetic, collection of costly spirits and classed-up grub make the tremendous value found at Cornelius’s tile-topped bar come as a pleasant surprise. Weekday happy hours featuring discounted drafts (try Kelso’s orange-kissed St. Gowanus Belgian ale) and one-buck oysters are popular. But the real draw here is the 200-plus library of boutique liquors. The drink menu’s omission of descriptions can be maddening, but the bartenders will eagerly offer input or mix dead-on cocktails like the warming bourbon-and-bitters Steamboat—a maple-syrup-spiked riff on the Manhattan.
565 Vanderbilt Ave
|Cross street:||at Pacific St|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Fri 5pm–2am; Sat, Sun 3pm–2am|
|Transport:||Subway: B, Q to Seventh Ave; 2, 3 to Grand Army Plaza|
|Price:||Average drink: $10. AmEx, MC, V|