- Bemelmans Bar
35 East 76th Street, 212-744-1600
While the song remains mostly the same at sister venue Café Carlyle, Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel received an astonishing makeover last year that amped up its Rat Pack–era plushness. The banquettes provide a cocoonlike barrier from other Bemelmans habitués, the martinis are impossibly tall, and the whole place is lit in a kind of magical, honeyed yellow. The space is intimate but the performers never overwhelm the patrons, and even on comparatively busy weekends, you can still carry on a conversation. “Let’s Get Lost,” indeed.
From the 2003 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).