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OLEANDERS interior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz Oleanders

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

By Christina Izzo and Dan Q Dao
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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
THE BENNETT interior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

The Bennett

Bars Cocktail bars 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
LIQUORETTE interior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Genuine Liquorette

Bars Cocktail bars 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
KAT & THEO interior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Kat & Theo

Restaurants Mediterranean 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
LA PECORA BIANCA
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

La Pecora Bianca

Restaurants Italian 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
Mother of Pearl
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Mother of Pearl

Bars Cocktail bars 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
OLEANDERS interior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Oleanders

Restaurants 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
THE POLO BAR
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

The Polo Bar

Restaurants American creative 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
SADELLE'S interior-exterior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Sadelle's

Restaurants Bakery 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
SESSANTA interior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Sessanta

Restaurants Italian 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
STREETBIRD interior-exterior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Streetbird Rotisserie

Restaurants Soul and southern American 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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