RECOMMENDED: New York nightlife guide 2013
Cool New York lounges
Don your coolest threads for this hot spot from nightlife impresario Nur Khan (Kenmare, Don Hill’s). The petite Electric Room, hidden down a set of stairs in a bunkerlike space, only holds about a hundred people, so you can expect an accordingly stringent door policy—thoughit’s more of a leather-jacket than stiletto-wearing crowd. Once you’re in the Britannia-themed space, accessible through the hotel lobby or a grimy, underground loading dock, dance to tunes from Blur and LCD Soundsystem. Should you party till you drop, crash in a swanky room in the Dream Downtown hotel, conveniently located right above ground.
Take in views of the East River and the Chrysler Building from the 17th floor of this Midtown East micro-hotel. The bi-level terrace is adorned with twinkling string lights, terra-cotta arches and Mayan-print curtains—exuding a sultry, tropical vibe ideal for enjoying the just-launched taqueria, Salvation Taco. Snack on inventive combos like tortilla-wrapped pig ears and lamb breast on naan, courtesy of Spotted Pig owner and pork expert April Bloomfield. Hotel Delmano alum Sam Anderson fixes the drinks; sip on his fresh-fruit–and-tequila concoctions as you mingle with an international party crowd.
Expect to line up for access to this drinkery atop the Wythe Hotel, the newest venture from Williamsburg entrepreneur Andrew Tarlow (Diner, Marlow & Sons). You’ll understand why once you reach the sixth-floor patio; the stellar vistas of the Manhattan skyline have shot the Ides to the top of every outdoor-boozing list. In the winter, savor the waterfront view through floor-to-ceiling windows and imbibe seasonal cocktails made with locally distilled liquors, or peruse a phenomenal small-production wine list. Check the bar’s Facebook page to get the scoop on sporadic sets from locals, including experimental filmmaker-cum-DJ Art Boonparn.
Paris lands in Chinatown courtesy of owner André Saraiva, whose exclusive boîte opened its NYC outpost after a hotly anticipated two-year wait. The three-story space, comprised of several intimate dance floors, evokes a ’70s-era bordello in Saigon that feels at once seedy and sexy. Once you breach the tight door, you’ll likely spot celebs of the fashion variety (Marc Jacobs, Prabal Gurung), a fog machine, a Eurocentric clientele and old-fashioned bottle service ($350 for a bottle of Jameson). Follow @EncoreSessions on Twitter to keep track of its Monday-night concert series, which hosts buzzy bands like MNDR and Wild Belle.
Step into the 19th century at this Noho cocktail den, converted from a circa-1855 beer cellar that Walt Whitman once frequented. The owners, who also run the Corner Shop Cafe upstairs, are all about period-appropriate detail. You’ll peruse a menu of luxe pub fare printed on old countercultural newspapers, and your order will be taken by a uniformed server corseted in designs by Project Runway’s Christian Siriano. As you hold court on a brocaded settee with your fellow literati—er, friends—and a spirits-heavy quaff in hand, you’ll be wishing venues like these weren’t just a throwback.