339 E. 75th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-288-8033
Until January, uptowners looking to drink somewhere other than a staid wine bar or a ho-hum pub would hop a train for hipper downtown climes. But Jbird’s arrival on the Upper East Side gives serious cocktail lovers a reason to stay local. The drinks list, from Jason Littrell (Death & Co.) and Marshall Altier (1534), offers five categories of spirits (from sours to Old Fashioneds) and signature drinks like the tiki-esque Jbird Swizzle ($12). A changing seasonal food menu means no one has to drink on an empty stomach, and no looming cab fare home is all the more excuse to have a second round.
Best Uptown Bar
From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).