Lunch: Mon-Sat, 11:30am-4pm Brunch: Sun, 11:30am-3:30pm Dinner: Sun-Mon, 5pm-10pm; Tue-Sat, 5pm-1am (downstairs barrel room not open on Monday or Sunday)
4, 5, 6, 7, S at Grand Central-42nd St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
There are two ways to imbibe at this bi-level Grand Central area joint. Downstairs in the Barrel Room, where the retro 1920s décor is undermined by anachronistic touches like plasma TVs and digital beer monitors, suits loosen their ties and compete for a spot at one of the self-service booths—the tavern’s main attraction. Each station dispenses three brews on tap, along with a display screen that measures consumption by the ounce, allowing you to sample and mix Sam Adams, Blue Moon and at least 12 other drafts to your heart’s content. For a more formal experience, grab a table upstairs and order from a full dinner menu of American gastropub fare, a sizable wine list, and cocktails such as The Ludlow (a heady concoction of Grey Goose La Poire, orange liqueur, muddled cucumber and pineapple juice). Given the neighborhood, it’s no surprise that both floors are packed during the peak after-work hours. When the rush hits, you may wish the chaise lounges suspended from the ceiling for decoration could be used for seating.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.