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.
With more than 10,000 brands of champagne in the world, how do you choose which ones to try? You could close your eyes and throw a dart at the shelf in a wine store?or, you could have a champagne expert narrow down the selection to a couple hundred kinds, and taste them at a lavish party.
The Night of Champagne is such a party, curated by the Champagne Sommelier and set inside Ambassador Wine and Spirits. On both floors of the store, guests snack on hors d'oeuvres and sample myriad champagnes, comparing vintages, non-vintages, and ros?s. Those with VIP tickets, meanwhile, participate in a speed tasting of high-end brands, including Dom Perignon, Krug, and Cristal.
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.
Live musicians roll out rollicking, crowd-pleasing hits by request to suffuse the walls with familiar melodies at Tobacco Road's Shake Rattle & Roll Dueling Pianos' show. Backed by a powerful drummer, the duo of ivory-ticklers serve up pop-music staples all night, channeling the talents of revered songsmiths such as Billy Joel, Journey, Lady Gaga, and the Beatles. Guests join in during each energetic performance by raising their voices in song, moving their feet in dance, or lifting their air guitars in blistering, make-believe solos.
Nestled on the second floor of The Time hotel is Inc Lounge, a tribute to the glamorous music, art, and club culture of the 1970s. The space caters to a Manhattan clientele of bankers, media personalities, and fashion lovers with a menu of cocktails such as a Gin & Sin and a Crimson Sunset. They're served amid Jody Singleton–designed furnishings of black Lucite chandeliers, white patent-leather settees, and red velvet couches. Orchid- and mermaid-themed wallpaper acts as an exotic precursor to a wall of mini plasma screens streaming arty video images. The DJ's beats get louder in the back room, where a black-and-red pool table draws groups of friendly competitors and sleepy club-goers who thought it was a big, comfy bed.