Mon-Fri, noon-4am; Sat-Sun, 5pm-4am
5pm-7pm; $5 beers, $8 select wines
A, C at Chambers St.; 1, 2, 3 at Chambers St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Does New York need another establishment with elaborately conceived house rules or the term “bespoke” on its menu? Perhaps not. But what it does need are more cocktails of the caliber created behind the bar of Ward III (that’s three), a dark, classy lounge-cum-restaurant in Tribeca. There’s a menu of upgraded bar food and small tables in the back, but both visually and conceptually, the bar takes center stage. Waiting behind it are Ward III’s partners—from the Odeon, Macao Trading Co., and Grace—armed with muddling sticks and working the bar with ruthless and mesmerizing skill. The nine listed libations reveal the barkeeps’ penchant for spice, spirits, and bitters, but the real fun comes in designing your own drink. Give a few specifications (texture, flavor, spirit, fruit, and spice) and leave yourself in the bartender’s capable hands. A request for “refreshing gin” yielded a lemon-mint crush topped with Champagne—a bright, appealing blend that didn’t eclipse the spirit. Classics are shaken with equal skill, and though these are thirteen-dollar drinks, they could have been marked a good deal higher given the quality and the neighborhood.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.