Mondrian Soho, 9 Crosby St., nr. Grand St.; 212-389-1000
The Old World–inspired lounge channels thirties Beijing with playful specialty cocktails like the Flying Dagger, Jasmine Pearl, and Horny Goat Weed Chaser. Otherwise, Mister H is classic nightclub: a D.J. spins tracks, and the prices on the bottle service menu could inspire a Seinfeldian rant or two.
David Burke Kitchen, 23 Grand St., at Sixth Ave.; 212-201-9119
One flight down is the 130-seat David Burke Kitchen at the James Hotel, but upstairs you're in the restaurant's isolated, glass-enclosed Treehouse bar, serving up the same menu as downstairs but in a more casual setting. Handcrafted cocktails range from the very serious tequila and ginger Border, garnished with a slice of beef jerky, to the whimsical vodka and grapefruit juice Good 'n Plenty, garnished with—you guessed it—Good ‘n Plentys. The snack menu is equally as whimsical, with salmon pastrami served on pretzels and a bone marrow and escargot "Ants on a Log."
The Cooper Square, 25 Cooper Square; 212-475-3400
This spot opened in the space that held Scott Conant’s Faustina (and Table 8 before that). Designers DD Allen and Michael Pierce have given the restaurant and its outdoor garden a lounge-y vibe, but there is a menu of “European-inspired comfort food” and reasonably-priced ($12) cocktails to sip, like the bourbon, ginger, and orange Bee Sting, or the sweet namesake Trilby, a whiskey, vermouth, and absinthe concoction. Throw back a few of those and you may need to rent a room for the night.
92 Ludlow St., nr. Delancey St.; 212-254-9100
Okay, this one's not actually a hotel but is named after a French World War II safe house, and, like owner Benjamin Shih's Williamsburg spots Sweet Ups and Royal Oak, designed with a retro sensibility. Unmarked doors transport to Shih's version of forties Paris, with dark mahogany wood panels and deep red-leather pin-tucked banquettes. The cocktail list features modern twists on old-school classics like the Bramble, their signature take on a blackberry sour, or an Oscar Mike: a.k.a. an old fashioned with honey.
Sleep No More
The McKittrick Hotel, 530 W. 27th St., nr. Tenth Ave.; 212-352-3101
Take a few players from the Box and Purgatorio, give them the run of massive abandoned nightlife spaces (100,000 square feet and 93 rooms, to be exact) in West Chelsea, and factor in some psychotic Shakespeare and you'll get this immersive production of Macbeth in the fictional McKittrick Hotel. Punchdrunk Theater Company has set the space up to mimic a "haunted" High Street, a ballroom, a graveyard, and more, complete with sound and scent installations. You'll be issued masks and allowed to roam freely, poking and rifling as cast members enact scenes around you. There are even witches to behold, but if it all gets to be a little much, you can always take the edge off in the "hotel's" jazz bar.