With its embossed brick wall, gray wainscoting, and cigar-brown armchairs, The Bar at the Dream Hotel puts a classy spin on the neighborhood pub. Inside the Midtown hangout, guests glide across well-worn cowhide rugs and sink into Italian-leather Chesterfields to catch the game on unobtrusive flat-screen TVs. They also sidle up to the marble-topped bar to grab a expertly made cocktail or assign a nickname to every last bottle of liquor. Servers, meanwhile, deliver tapas to round lounge tables and taller bar-style tables arranged near the windows.
The cooks at 1Republik plate a menu of upscale New American pub fare as bartenders decant more than 40 brews on tap. Starters such as the truffle oil-laced tater tots or the grilled prawns warm up out-of-practice dining teams, readying dormant tongues for entrees such as the seared sea salmon or the potato-flanked strip steak. Chicken pot pie layers root vegetables and chicken velouté into a flaky puff pastry, providing a savory alternative to standard Americana pies filled with apples or bits of the Patriot Act. Duos and foursomes are also entitled to a round of draft beers or house wines.
With Hoboken's picturesque shoreline as its backdrop, The Quays fuses stunning waterfront views of Manhattan with an innovative menu of upscale cuisine. Taste buds take a warm-up lap around appetizers such as the asian crab cake cradled within a hammock of napa slaw and mango-chili sauce. Anchored by a lineup of succulent meats, entrees arrive in the form of barbecue baby back ribs or red-wine-braised lamb, which stews atop blue-cheese polenta and fall-root gratin. Southern black beans and rice abut piquant cuts of Cajun catfish, and pork tenderloin boasts a chile-maple glaze aftershave. Pairs can tipple drinks from a robust menu of beers and wines, including sips from small-lot artisanal producers and larger vino crafters such as Shafer Vineyards.
An intricate forest design etched in black-and-white glass spans the dimly lit rooms of The West Five Supper Club, whose spacious, modern venue transforms into a vivacious dance club upon nightfall. In the dining room, plush, high-backed booths surround wooden tables illuminated by flickering candles and a blazing stone fireplace. Modern-looking birch branches divide the booths, lending an intimate feel to diners as small plates of smoked salmon, short-rib sliders, or smoked-gouda mac 'n' cheese emerge from the kitchen in steady intervals during the early evening. As guests dine, they sip glasses brimming with one of 12 specialty cocktails crafted from exotic ingredients, such as elderflower, white-peach purée, and cranberry-thyme honey.
The restaurant transforms into a massive dance floor in the later hours where top DJs spin hits, mash-ups, and '90s favorites as an LED lighting systems floods rooms in a wash of vibrant rays. When not hosting thumping dance parties and mingling guests at its black-and-white booths, the lounge hosts weekly Zumba fitness classes. Guests can rent the private dining area and main room for parties of up to 150 people, from bachelorette festivities to Flashdance extras' reunions.
Brasserie Julien’s chefs pamper palates with gourmet French specialties, sea delicacies, and expertly crafted signature drinks in a romantic setting. New York magazine writes that “it’s impossible to dine at this Upper East side brasserie and not think of Paris.” Upscale small plates whet appetites and facilitate the enjoyment of French aperitifs, with selections such as 24 plain oysters or shells stuffed with misplaced pirate-chest keys. Endive salads, quiche lorraine, or an assortment of soups sate cravings for light fare, and steak, fondue, or filet mignon quell ampler appetites. During wine tours, accomplished sommelier Mollie Battenhouse regales guests with about 10 samples of varietals from around the globe, as well as portions of the eatery’s brasserie fare.
Inside Brasserie Julien’s romantic and relaxed dining room, art-deco-inspired pendant lights illuminate the space's elegant columns, flowing curtains, and trumpet-playing silverware to create an authentic brasserie-style experience.
Fusing the best parts of a posh New York nightspot and a low-key Moroccan hideaway, Disiac Lounge graces nightly crowds with a menu of falafels, paninis, and cheese plates to pair with a panoply of sumptuous cocktails. Plush red stools line the neon-lit bar, where tenders whip up a host of chocolate-liqueur-infused libations, stir signature martinis in 16 flavors, and pour spirits aged in the choicest of camel humps. Bedecked with hints of crimson and gold, the intimate lounge plays host to a daily happy hour, and can be reserved in advance for private parties. Profilers from New York magazine praise the laid-back lounge for its mesmerizing interior, and maintain the bar's real draw lies in "pleasant patio [?] laden with lanterns and Moroccan-style poufs for perching." Readers also chimed in with an almost-perfect 9 out of 10 review, only previously achieved when Roger Ebert reviewed the film adaptation of Ebert: An Autobiography.