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Choose Your Booze


Dutch Kills Centraal  

Long Island City

Dutch Kills Centraal
38-40 29th St.; 718-606-8651
American draft beers accompany a modern-comfort-food menu at this quaint gastropub with lamppost light fixtures, a 1940s wooden bar, and a tiled floor. Thursday and Friday nights are packed with a friendly local crowd mingling with Euro tourists from the bevy of nearby hotels.

The Baroness
41-26 Crescent St.; 718-784-5065
This little wine-and-cheese bar may be the only one in the city that lets you open a bottle of Champagne with a sword (sign a waiver, and the staff will guide you through a hands-on sabering tutorial). There’s a range of white, red, green, and pink wine (one of the owners is a trained sommelier) and regular events like karaoke Saturdays.

Front Toward Enemy
40-11 30th Ave.; 718-545-2269
Beija Flor
38-02 29th St.; 718-606-2468
The precisely made drinks at Front Toward Enemy rival those of top Manhattan boozeries; cocktails are labeled with a grenade (stronger) or parachute (more refreshing, like the Rockefeller, a Dark and Stormy variant). Food is served all day, and happy hour has $9 cocktails. If caipirinhas are more your speed, head to Brazilian restaurant-bar Beija Flor.


Black Bear Bar
70 N. 6th St., nr. Wythe Ave.; no phone
Randolph Brooklyn
104 S. 4th St., nr. Bedford Ave.; 718-599-0412
The latest venture from Jessica Wertz (No Name Bar, Lone Wolf), Black Bear Bar is a sprawling warehouse-y affair outfitted with motorcycle parts and a thrash-metal soundtrack. Standard draft beers like Pacifico and Brooklyn Lager can be paired with shots. Alternatively, geek out at the hood’s new ’70s-style outpost of Broome Street’s Randolph, where there are 12 taps and a serious list of American craft brews.

The Grand Bar and Grill
647 Grand St., nr. Leonard St.; 718-782-4726
At East Williamsburg’s prettiest new gastropub, New York–focused wine offerings from the Finger Lakes and City Winery come on tap. The construction project was headed by the Isa team: Think old fire extinguishers repurposed as draft-wine towers. The staff are mostly regulars at the bar’s grimy sister, the Second Chance Saloon, and they’ll warmly help you navigate the drinks list and food menu: The short-rib-and-brisket cheeseburger with caper mayo is a must.

Bar Below Rye
247 S. 1st St., nr. Roebling St.; 718-218-8047
Grand Ferry
229 Kent Ave., nr. N. 1st St.; 718-782-8500
The secret-feeling BBR has a low ceiling and music courtesy of DJs like Inbetween, who spins mostly ’50s and ’60s jams. There’s a clever special—bottle service of pre-batched Old Fashioneds (which, at $50, can serve about six people). If you’d like to see sunlight while you imbibe, head to Grand Ferry, home to stiff drinks like the tequila-and-amaro-based Captain Badass and a newly opened patio.

The Gilroy  

Upper East Side

303 E. 85th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-249-1509
Five Mile Stone
1640 Second Ave., at 85th St.; 212-933-0913
Pressed-tin ceilings and concealed TVs give the beer-and-bourbon-focused Bondurants a quiet dignity. To soak up the beers (the list rotates; recently, it included a group of hard-to-find Sierra Nevadas like the Ovila Quad), there are plates with a southern lilt. If you’re seeking a frattier liveliness, move next door to Five Mile Stone, which offers a New Orleans–esque outdoor balcony.

Bar Felice
1591 First Ave., nr. 83rd St.; 212-249-4080
The companion bar to Italian stalwart Felice offers daily specials that make this a perfect spot for a wine nightcap (Wednesday is $6-glass night) or something more committed (on Tuesdays, all bottles are 25 percent off). The bar feels like a classy piano bar, minus the piano, or an Italian café: clean lines, shiny metal bar stools, and wooden tables.

The Gilroy
1561 Second Ave., at 81st St.; 212-734-8800
Drunken Munkey
338 E. 92nd St., nr. First Ave.; 646-998-4600
The Gilroy’s conceit (Negroni-themed bar) may be hokey, but the drinks are solid; try the Oaxaca Negroni, which subs mezcal for gin. Or head to Drunken Munkey to take in classic Indian films and try the paanch of the week (the Hindi word for five, from which “punch” originated).


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