2153 Frederick Douglass Blvd., at 116th St.; 212-866-4500
Tonic co-owner Stephan Daly has planted his flag north of 110th Street with this massive addition to Frederick Douglass Boulevard, going hefty on the square footage and playing safe with the décor. With its brew-pub vibe, large umbrella-shaded patio, and a full menu, crowds are pretty much guaranteed. The cocktail list is diverse, from the Harlem Sunset (tequila, pineapple, cherry liquor) to frozen mojitos, with wines by the bottle good for groups lounging on the patio.
178 Stanton St., nr. Clinton St.; 646-559-2553
This Lower East Side bar, whose name is slang for “jazz purist,” is a valiant attempt at resurrecting New York City’s rich jazz history. Run by the same team as Fat Cat, this no-frills affair classes it up for a crowd that’s less interested in shuffle board and more attentive to gratuitous trumpet, bass, and piano solos.. Although it’s beer and wine only, they have twelve craft-focused brews on tap and an assortment of red, white, and sparkling wines to wash down all that smooth jazz.
Nights and Weekends
1 Bedford Ave., at Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint, Brookly; 718-383-5349
Nestled like a slice of pie at the intersection of Bedford and Nassau Aves., this triangle-shaped, Havana-meets-Greenpoint gem has all the makings of a neighborhood favorite. While locals will, no doubt, recognize the pedigree — the perpetually-crowded Five Leaves is just across the street — newbies will appreciate chef and co-owner Ken Addington’s knack for casually-refined ambiance.
White and Church
281 Church St., at White St.; 212-226-1607
Cocktails and small bites is the name of the game at chef Matteo Boglione’s replacement for the failed Il Matto. The relatively simple menu allows the cocktails, concocted by Boglione’s wife, Christina Bini, to take the spotlight, as they should. Though navigating your way through the menu of over sixty drinks—categorized as either “classic” or “innovative,” with an entire subsection devoted to insects, yes, insects—may seem daunting, but you can’t go wrong with their award-winning Maltese martini or another one of their innovative twists on seasoned classics.
37–11 30th Ave., nr. 38th St., Astoria, Queens; 718-626-0333
There are no big surprises from this concept restaurant on Astoria’s burgeoning restaurant row. ESPN plays above the bar, walls are exposed brick, but the Mexican-BBQ theme lends enough spice to attract the epicurious in for a bite and the 48 craft brews on tap gets street cred from beer snobs.
The Lot on Tap
30th St. at Tenth Ave.; no phone
Tom Colicchio’s new seasonal venue might be dubbed a “public gathering space,” but it’s really just an excuse to get blotto under an abandoned train bridge and play with drunk-friendly public art—all within stumbling distance of some high-brow munchies. Tickets for the beer garden— stocking domestic wines and local beers from Sixpoint and Brooklyn Brewery—are purchased at a kiosk, and the rotating caravan is something of a greatest hits of the mobile-food dining scene: Rickshaw Dumplings, Kimchi Taco, Red Hook Lobster Truck, CoolHaus, among others.
The Terrace at FOUR
Yotel, 570 Tenth Ave., at 42nd St.; 646-449-7700
Though it boasts a stunning view of Times Square, the New York Times building, and views extending northward as far as Hearst Tower, this terrace transports you to a different world, with a futuristic Jetsons-like ambience. Kick your liquid dinner off with a refreshing strawberry-lychee mojito or a peach and bourbon tea—both off of their signature cocktails list—at one of the two outdoor bars. Or, if you’ve had a rough week, rally the troops and grab a comfy lounge seat and a group table under a cabana.