35 W. 64th St.; 212-724-8585
This town has been awash in bar-slash-restaurants, and newfangled bar menus, for several years now. So it’s a little ironic that the most sophisticated bar food, in our humble opinion, resides these days at that famously sedate, famously un-faddish Upper West Side establishment Picholine. Terrance Brennan has remodeled his bar area in slick shades of silver and white. He has a new bar menu, too, which includes plump segments of shrimp folded with smoked paprika, deposits of freshly made paella wrapped in crispy spring-roll skins (“paella spring rolls”), and cups of gamy, finely whipped trifle, designed to be spread over slabs of truffled toast. Best of all, though, is a dish that seems to have been designed expressly for the restaurant’s faithful legions of opera loons. It’s a decorative glass of sherry-flavored sorbet crowned, in a deliciously baroque way, with plumes of crackly, baked serrano ham.