New York City-Lower West Manhattan

4.4 / 5 3 / 5

May 11, 2018

The brains behind Gramercy Tavern and Blue Smoke bring a Southern-tinged cocktail bar, Instagrammable drinks and a whiff of fun to the Far West Side.

Restaurateur Danny Meyer (Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Shake Shack) has opened his first stand-alone cocktail bar and naturally it’s delicious and brings something new (for New York) to the table. Southern-inspired drinks presented in a stylish, well-lit setting on Manhattan’s Far West side has been drawing praise and wonder from the cocktail community. It’s pretty, with its reclaimed-wood bar and hanging lights, but the staff and atmosphere are deliberately welcoming and relaxed. There’s even a game room and an indoor “porch” of sorts, and unlike many of the latest additions to the city, there’s plenty of room most nights for everyone. Added bonus: The new 7-train extension drops you off just a couple blocks away from what was a fairly sizable hike (Meyer was thinking ahead, clearly). Seasonally updated drinks include a Cognac-based Sazerac, rye Manhattan and a Whiskey-Soda with housemade cola. The star of the show has been a “blue drink” called the Gun Metal Blue with mezcal, blue curaçao, cinnamon syrup and peach garnish. Other table-turners include a new cocktail served at room temperature and the What’ll It Be: instead of “bartender’s choice,” the guest suggests the cocktail and his or her favorite method of preparation. Food from Blue Smoke’s Jean-Paul Bourgeois include fried frog legs, the Double Trouble Bison Burger, and a boiled peanut hummus.