Minus 5 Ice Bar's unusual experience always starts with a trip to the coat check. But instead of hanging up visitors' jackets, staffers there hand out gloves and parkas. These luxurious duds prepare guests to step inside the refreshingly chilly winter wonderland.
Beyond the bar's front doors lies a multi-chambered palace of ice, where seats, walls, bars, and even cocktail glasses are made of frozen water coaxed to hold a certain shape. The libations within the glasses benefit from the cold as a bite of frost is added to their natural potency. They're hardly the only entertainment available, though. Amid upbeat music, each room of the bar features a unique artistic theme manifested by resident ice artists through a variety of sculptures and pieces of icy decor, many lit by colorful LEDs. Professional photographers prowl the passageways alongside the waitstaff, ready to snap photos for guests to immortalize memories or remind themselves that they didn't actually step into Narnia.
CLOS Wine Bar owner and certified sommelier Mine Ayberk personally chooses every option on the bar's wine list, focusing especially on Old World, single-vineyard wines. As it turns out, Ms. Ayberk's selection has more wines than her bar has seats. With enough space for just under 20 guests, CLOS carries an intimate aura, surrounding visitors with warm tones, handcrafted finishings, and works from local artists. Clambering across the hardwood floors, the CLOS staff doles out specially prepared gourmet plates designed to enhance the wine-drinking experience. But much like its owner, the bar's staff members aren't just shadows in the background: each is a certified sommelier, and each speaks multiple languages. This means guests can enjoy some European pizzazz without having to join a pen-pal program for adults.
For the uninitiated, caviar and the culture that surrounds it may seem shrouded in mystery. Not so at Olma Caviar Boutique & Bar, where the caviar options are laid out in front of you behind a panel of curved glass. Here, dozens of red and black caviar varieties tempt palates: the current selection includes sturgeon-sourced Russian Osetra Karat caviar and red salmon caviar, whose bright red orbs burst with sweetness. Guests can take their roe on blinis, open-face sandwiches, or paired with other gourmet eats such as smoked lox and foie gras. To add even more elegance, Olma also offers espresso bar drinks as well as wine, champagne, and cocktails.
Mozzarella-drenched steak heroes, crab cakes with housemade tartar sauce and corn relish, a full bar of domestic and imported brews, plus cocktails. There are plenty of palate-pleasing reasons that Brooklyn Colony endures in neighborhood hearts, and its atmosphere??flanked by brick and red walls??only charms further. But for many, Brooklyn Colony's biggest draw is its calendar. Chock-full of entertainment and interactive events, the restaurant's agenda book is as stuffed as its mushroom- and cheese-laden portobello burger, and as creative as its treble clef chowder. Blues bands, Beatles brunches, karaoke, and jam sessions are among the establishment's friendship-fomenting activities.
Hundreds of types of Champagne culled from more than 10,000 brands at one event. This is The Night of Champagne, and it descends upon the two elegant floors of Ambassador Wine and Spirits. Inside the space, guests can sample myriad sparkling white wines while comparing vintages, non-vintages, and ros?s. As they sip, they can pair their choices with gourmet Hors d'oeuvres. Meanwhile, guests with VIP tickets can partake of a speed tasting, sampling high-end offerings from Dom Perignon, Krug, and Cristal while figuring out which one they'd like to settle down with long-term.
At Levity Live Comedy Club, renowned comedians such as Kevin Nealon and Susie Essman have graced the same stage as up-and-coming comics including Elliot Chang and Sam Morril. In addition to its live shows and a variety of pub grub and drinks, the club also offers classes through Manhattan Comedy School. Eight-week sessions help fledgling comedians with everything from developing a persona to lightening up a goldfish’s funeral.