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The West Side Bar Scene, From Cocktails to Bar Bites in New York

The West Side Bar Scene, From Cocktails to Bar Bites in New York

Trendy and exciting cocktail bars in Manhattan's thriving West Side. Inside this article: Bea, Mo Bar at the Mandarin Oriental Hote, Perdition, Tanner Smith's and Manhattan Cricket Club.

Even if you don't reside here, you will quickly feel right at home in the Manhattan West Side neighborhood. As you and your friends settle in at your table, you will watch with delight as your server brings out a tray of glasses filled with colorful cocktails, followed by some amazing bar bites. A neighborhood that is on the move, Manhattan's West Side is filled with great attractions, from the Intrepid Museum and the Javit's Center to Lincoln Center and Riverside Park. Here's some of the exciting cocktail bars and lounges that are trending and making their mark in this diverse and intriguing section of New York real estate. 

Bea - NYC

Bea has been a tried and true neighborhood watering hole for many years and this cozy bar just seems to be improving with age. Bea has a very friendly vibe. Don't be surprised if most of your fellow diners seem to know each other. By the time that you finish your dinner and drinks, the odds are that you'll be on first name basis with your server and Bea regulars, as well!

BeaNYC

Their cocktail menu is helpfully divided up into different liquor-centric areas, featuring either vodka, gin, whiskey, bourbon or tequila as the primary ingredient. The Reverse Vesper martini highlights Belvedere vodka along with Spring 44 gin, Lille Blanc and grapefruit zest. The bar's signature libation, the Tottenville Tea is both refreshing and lively with a tea-infused rye whiskey, lime juice, spicy honey syrup, orange bitters and lemon twist. For a really eclectic blend of flavors, try the Over the Moon, a potent blend of rosemary-infused aviation gin, aperol, crème de cassis, lime juice and a generous splash of orange San Pelegrino.

BeaNYC2

Bea's menu consists of upscale, elevated bar food. Delicious choices include the tuna tartare with guacamole, broccoli, tomato and lime juice; the pulled pork with red cabbage and micro-greens and some really savory pork dumplings that are dressed up with cilantro, ginger and scallions. Far and away though, the most popular dish, hands down is the steak and tomatoes platter. This bountiful meal consists of filet mignon, grilled tomatoes, fries and a slightly spicy onion sauce. If at all possible, try to reserve a table in Bea's sun-splashed Atrium room. You will really feel as though you're dining outdoors. There is even a very tall  tree, in full bloom, inside this gorgeous room.

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Location and Hours

403 west 43rd street
New York NY 10036
(212) 602-1910
www.beanyc.com
 
Hours
Monday to Friday  5 PM to 2 AM
Saturday-Sunday  11 AM to 2 AM

Mo Bar at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel - NYC 

Situated on the 35th floor of the trendy Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Mo Bar is a sophisticated yet totally unpretentious spot in which to enjoy a relaxing cocktail as well as some tasty light bites. Mo Bar pays homage to the style and elegance of 1930's New York. Velvet walls serve as a backdrop to stylish high-top tables and tailored leather seating. The focal point of the lounge area is a hammered nickel island bar. This is where the action is during their popular after work Happy Hour.

MoBarAtTheMandarin1

Perhaps though, the biggest draw is the absolutely spectacular view of Central Park. This is true, especially at night, when the shimmering, glowing lights of the city take on their special magic. Mo's superb cocktail list also does its dazzling part to add to the general feeling of merriment. Their diverse drink line-up has a glass to suit every taste. You will also be tempted to step out of your comfort zone by the bartenders' creative concoctions. A great place to commence your exploring would be with the Baby Buddha, a decidedly out of the box cocktail consisting of Hendrick's gin, cucumber, cilantro, lime and sparkling sake.

MoBarAtTheMandarin2

The ingredients of the Teatime Bellini, (Belvedere peach nectar, peach puree and Prosecco), make this drink one of the most refreshing to be found, anywhere in the city. Another intoxicating choice would be the Ginger Mojito, a blend of Owney's rum, mint, lime, ginger and club soda. Ketal One vodka, pomegranate, beet juice, lemon and Oolong honey come together to make the Royal Tea one of Mo Bar's most popular drinks. Elevate your boys or girl's night out game with a delicious drink and an unbeatable view at Mo Bar.

Location and Hours 

80 Columbus Circle at 60th street
New York NY 10023
(212) 805-8800
Mo Bar
 
Hours
Tuesday -Thursday   4 PM to 12 AM
Friday-Saturday       4 PM to 1 AM
Sunday- Monday      Closed

Perdition - NYC

Perdition is an interesting cross between an Irish pub and a slightly upscale dive bar. But despite the no-frills theme here, you will find the service to be exceptional and the drinks, simply outrageous. The bartenders really go out of their way to make customers feel welcome and a part of the family. And they really do know how to mix a great drink.

Perdition 1

There's a great deal of variety to  Perdition's cocktail list. Many of their ingredients are innovative and locally sourced. The Dragon Eye is a heady blend of Absolut Mandarin, sake, lychee nectar and cranberry juice. Real lime juice and Stoli Raspberry are the ingredients that make the Perdition Martini a must-have cocktail. For a taste that's really different and totally delicious, try the Elderflower Sparkler with pear sake, St. Germaine liqueur and sparkling wine. One of the bar's most popular sips is the Godiva chocolate Martini. It comes in several flavors including raspberry or espresso.

Perdition 2

The barkeeps here also mix up a totally neat Negroni, a delectable Sidecar and a key lime martini, complete with a graham cracker rim. The food here is certainly nothing fancy, but it's filling and does the job. Besides the usual buffalo wings, nachos and cheeseburgers, that you will find at most Manhattan bars, there are a couple of unexpected surprises on the menu. The BBQ brisket sandwich is outstanding as are the vegetarian curry samosas.

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Location and Hours

692 10th avenue
New York NY 10019
(212) 582-5660
www.perditionnyc.com
 
Hours
Monday to Sunday   1 Pm to 4 AM

Tanner Smith's - NYC

There's a fun and lively Prohibition era vibe going on at Tanner Smith's. Not to mention the fact that the bartenders here are considered to be among the best that New York has to offer. Just take a seat at the bar and tell your mixologist what you are in the mood for. You will love the results. On weekends take a trip back in time during Tanner Smith's colorful and entertaining Tipsy Tea live Jazz Brunch featuring the music of Tara O'Grady and her band. Looking for something just a bit more contemporary? Then look no further than spending some time with their house DJ Jay, who spins his beats every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

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In case you were wondering, Tanner Smith was a stevedore who worked on the Hudson River docks, back in the day. That however, was Tanner's day job. His real income was derived from his illicit partnership with gangsters like Owner Madden, one of the most famous bootleggers of his time. There are two bar areas here. The main bar and lounge is spacious and very, very vintage in décor and ambiance. Downstairs, in the basement is an experimental cocktail bar, with a bit more of a hip, trendy feel to it. Cocktail menu high spots include  the Cal Me Over, a blend of hand crafted gin, raspberry cordial and lemon. The Drop Kick may literally knock you right out of your shoes. It's a delicious mix of Absolut vodka, sour cherry cordial, fresh mint, balsamic reduction and a pour of Q ginger beer. We seriously doubt that The Footloose cocktail is named after the classic Kevin Bacon movie. But it still rocks with a blend of  apple vodka, cucumber, lime juice, celery and elderflower.

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The bar even features some delicious cocktails that are "made for two". You can share them with your date. The Rosie Lee is comprised of Hendrick's gin, fresh fruit juice, lavender infused tea, a pinch of sugar and champagne. Check out Tanner's excellent Brunch menu. Highlights include the Baked eggs and goat cheese in tomato sauce, the skillet baked pancake and the avocado smash (poached eggs, fresh avocado, and radish on grilled sourdough bread.) 

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Location and Hours

204 west 55th street
New York NY 10019
(646) 590-2034
www.tannersmiths.com/

Hours
Monday to Sunday 11 AM to 4 AM
 

Manhattan Cricket Club - NYC

This rather posh lounge is located upstairs from Burke and Wills, the celebrated Australian bistro that has been an Upper West Side mainstay. The bar and lounge is set up to resemble the refined apartment of a nineteenth century English gentleman. Everything about the cricket club is reminiscent of Victorian era décor and spirit, including the polished wood, dark leather and gold brocade.

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Head mixologist Greg Seider has curated a very intriguing list of cocktails. Greg's cocktails are heavily influenced by drinks and ingredients that were popular during the heyday of the British Empire at its colonial outposts and gentlemen's clubs. You don't have to actually be a member to drink here. All are welcome. But for those men and women who do join, there are many perks including first dibs on wine and spirits tastings, lectures and workshops as well as master classes on cocktail curation. If you are a member, then you can also  make reservations for your party at the Cricket Club.
 
They offer a nice variety of  both house and classic cocktails. The amusingly named Bonfire of the Calamities consists of lime infused Russian standard vodka, fresh lemon juice, agave and a bonfire spritz. The I'll Have Another is comprised of Santa Teresa 1796 rum, garam masala syrup, fresh limes, club soda and shaved ginger.

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The food menu is exceptional. They have some of the best small plates around. It is difficult to say just what the best dish is. But you can't go wrong with either the luscious crab beignets with Japanese mayonnaise, the braised pork belly and chorizo or the grilled octopus with pickled sunchokes. Most definitely, the one dessert that you must have is the warm chocolate cake with orange syrup. And by the way, when you're here, you can count on getting up to the minute cricket scores and all the latest news. 

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Location and Hours

226 west 79th street
New York NY 10024
(646) 823-9252
www.mccnewyork.com
 
Hours
Monday to Saturday 6 PM to 2 AM
Sunday                  Closed

 

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