Sun-Wed, 5pm-1am; Thu, 4pm-2am; Fri-Sat, 4pm-4am
1 at Franklin St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Like some hallowed center of higher learning, amber-lit Brandy Library is a labor of love. While cocktail waitresses neatly climb ladders to fetch the namesake bottles that line the space’s vertical shelves, you can sink into a buttery tobacco leather chair, Alistair Cooke–style, or cozy up with a date on a banquette in the bar, occupied by both fashionable locals and fellows with loosened ties. The book everyone is here to check out is the fat bound menu showcasing refined Cognacs (as well as a 1914 brandy that runs $230 for a snifter), rustic Calvados, and just about anything else you could think of, including more than 45 classic and 10 house cocktails. Although they arrive in splendid Nick and Nora–worthy glassware (think small martini or wide-mouth champagne glasses), the cocktails still need tinkering. Still, like any great, but flawed novel, there is much to love here.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.