Bemelmans Bar

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85 Very Good

The Carlyle Hotel’s bastion of old-fashioned romance, with live piano music and Ludwig Bemelmans’s famous murals.

35 E. 76th St., New York, NY, 10075

212-744-1600

http://rosewoodhotels.com/en/carlyle/dining/bemelmans_bar/

Known For

The lowdown

Nowhere is the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie more palpable than in this bastion of postwar decadence: Think white-jacket waiters, 24-karat gold-leaf ceilings, and nickel-trimmed glass tables splayed around the ivories. Settle into a leather banquette and order something strong and adventurous from a cocktail list designed by Dale DeGroff, and maybe even catch a Chita Rivera sighting when she performs at the Café Carlyle next door. Murals of frolicking animals painted by bar namesake and former Carlyle Hotel resident Ludwig Bemelmans offer a whimsical counterpoint to what might otherwise be suffocating sophistication (and they repay a close viewing — can you spot the armed rabbit stalking its brethren?).

What you need to know

Insider Tips Come early (before 9 p.m. on Sunday and Monday, and at 9:30 p.m. the rest of the week), if you want to avoid a live-music cover.

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelCivilized