The best-looking NYC restaurants and bars of the year

New York was looking mighty fine in 2015, as evidenced by the stunning restaurants and bars that opened this year
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz Oleanders
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Sure, New Yorkers want their favorite restaurants and bars to dole out quality food and drinks, but it’s a much-welcome extra if they look damn good while doing it. This year saw plenty of beautiful newcomers to the city, from a teal-and-white tiki bar, to handsome hotel restaurants, to an equestrian-themed clubhouse from one of fashion’s biggest names. Here are the sexiest food-and-drink spots of 2015.

Photographs by Paul Wagtouicz

2015's best-looking restaurants and bars

THE BENNETT interior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Bars, Cocktail bars

The Bennett

icon-location-pin Tribeca

The 1600-square-foot space is as sleek as you’d expect from the team behind retro-minded stunners Dear Irving and Raines Law Room, trimmed with gold wallpaper, antique mirrors, blue-velvet banquettes and a black-marble bar.

LIQUORETTE interior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Bars, Cocktail bars

Genuine Liquorette

icon-location-pin Little Italy

Set beneath patty flipper Genuine Superette, this 34-seat barroom is bathed in the warming glow of a neon-red LIQUORETTE sign hanging above the counter, with price-marked bottles in backlit glass cabinets calling up an old liquor store. And the cool-kid digs don’t end there—the bathroom is plastered with Farrah Fawcett memorabilia.

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KAT & THEO interior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Kat & Theo

icon-location-pin Flatiron

Paras Shah’s 70-seat dining room is a moodily lit, brick-walled stretch divided into two zones: a front bar area fitted with leather booths and metal trellis archways, and a back dining room warmed with a stone fireplace.

LA PECORA BIANCA
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Italian

La Pecora Bianca

icon-location-pin Flatiron

The 85-seat, window-flanked restaurant draws from Italy’s small-town farmhouses and rural kitchens: Mint-green chairs snuggle up to wood-plank tables, jars of pickling vegetables sit prettily on illuminated shelves and walls are garnished with hand-painted tiles, copper bundt pans and soft-hued sheep-patterned wallpaper.

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Mother of Pearl
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Bars, Cocktail bars

Mother of Pearl

icon-location-pin East Village

The tiki den is rife with time-warp nods to the Pacific isles, including retro floral-patterned banquettes, hand-carved totem pole stools and mother-of-pearl light fixtures. The effect is somewhat dreamlike—corroborated by a lo-fi pop soundtrack ranging from the Velvet Underground to St. Vincent.

OLEANDERS interior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants

Oleanders

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

There’s, fittingly, plenty of foliage at this fern-bar upgrade at the McCarren Hotel and Pool, but it looks the part even beyond all that greenery: multicolored Tiffany lamps dangle from the ceiling and servers sport floral button-downs as they whisk neon-hued drinks from the copper-topped bar.

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THE POLO BAR
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, American creative

The Polo Bar

icon-location-pin Midtown East

It’s not hard to see where this mahogany-toned dining room gets its good looks from—fashion mogul Ralph Lauren is behind the joint, and you can feel his all-American influence at every turn, from the saddle leather that covers the banquettes to the jockey portraits that decorate the walls.

SADELLE'S interior-exterior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Bakery

Sadelle's

icon-location-pin Soho

This bagel bistro from Team Torrisi is a baroque feast-for-the-eyes, set with marble countertops, paper-hatted smoked-fish attendants and Billy Joel hits on heavy rotation. It’s like a Jewish dairy that’s been given the ol’ Broadway razzle-dazzle.

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SESSANTA interior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Italian

Sessanta

icon-location-pin Soho

If Don Draper had a summer home in Palermo, Italy, it would look a bit like Sessanta, the glam lobby restaurant inside the Sixty Soho hotel. Inspired by the Italian coast, the 100-seat dining room is appointed in Giò Ponti style with slat-board maple walls and ad-man-worthy framed armchairs.

STREETBIRD interior-exterior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Soul and southern American

Streetbird Rotisserie

icon-location-pin Harlem

Marcus Samuelsson’s uptown kitchenette is a bright blitzkrieg of early hip-hop bric-a-brac (an interactive boom-box wall, ’80s-era Run-D.M.C. portraits) intermingled with historic-Harlem odds and ends, like the OLD FASHION' BUT GOOD! sign salvaged from soul-food icon M&G Diner and the repurposed church pews that have been upholstered in vintage Louis Vuitton textiles.

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