1 Central Park W., nr. 60th St.; 212-299-3900
With day drinking comes some rather unsavory connotations, usually involving insobriety in a dark, grimy watering hole. Reclaim the venerated pastime with a cocktail at the recently revamped and now airily streamlined Nougatine, Jean Georges’s more casual sister space. Daily from 11:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., settle in at the Modernist, metallic-accented bar and ask one of the vested, old-school bartenders to fix you a raspberry-litchi Bellini ($18), blood-orange Mimosa ($18), or even just a beer (from $9)—the point here is sophisticated grandeur, not “mixology.” While you drink, eavesdrop on the power players down a stool or two and peep Central Park passersby out the huge wall of windows; you will be surprised just how easy it is to while away a few hours.