Mon-Thu, 7:30am-midnight; Fri, 7:30am-1am; Sat, 8am-1am; Sun, 8am-midnight
6 at Spring St.; N, R, W at Prince St.; J, M, Z at Bowery
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
While the gargantuan size of Balthazar's dining room may leave you feeling a bit chilly, its bar area offers a more intimate (though not necessarily friendlier) setting. The mahogany benches and leather stools surrounding the zinc bar fill up early. But whether or not you secure a seat, the immaculately clad bartenders will grant you and your cocktails the utmost care (Bloody Marys are incredibly fresh and spicy, Cosmopolitans cool and frothy), and gustatory offerings like olives and Parmesan crisps have a civilizing effect on the tourists and hob-nobbers impatiently bumping elbows with each other.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.