Over at Manhattan, floor manager Zuzana Cerven estimates a 20 to 30 percent increase in people dropping by earlier for drinks. “This is especially true on weekdays, where they will often dine with us and stay till closing,” she adds. “Most also have dinner at the bar.”
While bars were previously an after-dinner destination, Zuzana has observed more people are choosing to spend a night out at a single location instead. “The trend now seems to gear towards guests choosing to have dinner and drinks simultaneously, without having to adjourn to a second to third place,” she notes.
As a result, the timely launch of Manhattan’s new food and drink menu is specially designed to expand beyond just tipples – and “cover all grounds”. Light bites and aperitivo-style cocktails are available to help whet the appetites, before transitioning to fuller bites of Redemption Burger ($24), including the Angus beef patty which comes stuffed between paprika brioche; and rib-eye steak frites ($38) served alongside fries and bourbon-infused steak sauce. Dessert options have increased too, up from the previous two to the current five.
According to Zuzana, the new drinks program, New York Personified, also provides room for progression throughout the night. Its third menu celebrates six iconic Manhattanites, from the likes of Anthony Bourdain to Vera Wang, and features some 18 cocktails and six zero proof beverages that tap on the colourful lives and rich history of these larger-than-life personalities.
She recommends starting light, then moving on to The Rickhouse line-up of barrel-aged, spirit-forward concoctions. Round the night off with the Robert Downey Jr-inspired 3000 ($26), with flavours of Neapolitan ice cream captured within Flor de Caña 12-year rum, chocolate, vanilla cream, and strawberry dust. “It is warm, sweet, and just the right level of boozy to end the evening with,” she says.