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New York's Top 10 : Bars and Lounges

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  1. King Cole Bar and Lounge

    Maxfield Parrish’s famous mural of Old King Cole, rich mahogany paneling, and sumptuous seating set the stage for New York’s most famous hotel bar, which has only been admitting women since 1950. Lush, luxurious, and very expensive, the soft piano music sets a mood that makes it easy to clinch a deal or spark a romance.

    • St. Regis Hotel, 2 East 55th St, between 5th and Madison Aves

    • 212 753 4500

    King Cole Bar
  2. Bar 44 at the Royalton

    Located in the heart of Manhattan’s Midtown, the Royalton launched a legion of boutique-style imitations when it first opened in 1988. A $17.5 million renovation to the lobby, bar and restaurant in 2007 bid adieu to the post-modern Philippe Starck interior. Bar 44 is now cozy, with elements of brass, steel, wood, velvet, suede, and fur, while Brasserie 44 is a light, airy space with teak banquettes and cream-colored leather.

    • Royalton Hotel, 44 West 44th St

    • 212 944 8844

  3. Monkey Bar

    A sophisticated spot with a whimsical theme – monkey murals and light fixtures, even a Purple Monkey cocktail. Monkey Bar is a long-time favorite, which serves Chinese food with a modern twist. The bar attracts a well-heeled, well-dressed crowd.

    • Hotel Elysee, 60 East 54th St, between Madison and Park Aves

    • 212 838 2600

    Monkey Bar
  4. Flute

    Proudly stocking over 150 types of champagne, several of which are available by the glass, this former speakeasy successfully blends high-end opulence and a sumptuous menu with a romantic atmosphere and friendly service.

    • 205 West 54th St, between 7th Ave and Broadway

    • 212 265 5169

    Flute
  5. Campbell Apartment

    This is a gem hidden in Grand Central Terminal. Housed in the richly paneled, luxurious former offices of 1920s railroad tycoon John W. Campbell, this bar features leaded glass, a beautifully painted beamed ceiling, and a carved wood balcony, all inspired by a Florentine palazzo. Single-malt scotches or vintage wines are appropriate choices to complement this elegant setting. The dress code is business-casual.

    • West balcony, Grand Central Terminal, 15 Vanderbilt Ave at 42nd St

    • 212 953 0409

  6. Pen-Top Bar and Terrace

    There is a stylish new look after a 2008 renovation but the views of city lights needed no improvement at this 23rd-floor oasis. The outdoor terrace is an unbeatable spot on a balmy summer night. Devotees say it is well worth the steep tab.

    • Peninsula Hotel, 700 5th Ave at 55th St

    • 212 956 2888

  7. Plunge

    Enjoy superb views of the New York skyline and the Hudson River from this rooftop bar at the trendy Gansevoort Hotel, in the Meatpacking District. Although a little on the expensive side, this is a great spot to hang out in the summer months.

    • Gansevoort Hotel, 18 9th Ave at 13th St

    • 212 206 6700

  8. Boathouse Bar

    Watch the sun set and the lights come on across the skyline at this outdoor bar beside the lake in Central Park, a location worthy of a movie set. The setting is particularly romantic on warm nights when rowboats and gondolas glide by.

    • Central Park near East 72nd St

    • 212 517 2233

    Park View at the Boathouse
  9. Hudson Bar

    With a backlit glass floor, elaborate, hand-painted ceiling and unusual Louis XV meets Star Wars decor, the bar at the Hudson Hotel draws a stylish crowd. Punters love the vibe here despite the high price of drinks, and those looking for a quieter spot can always head for the hotel’s Library Bar.

    • Hudson Hotel, 356 West 58th St

    • 212 247 0769

  10. Ñ

    Head for this out-of-the-way block in SoHo to discover an absolute gem: a raffish bar with polka dot walls, reasonably priced drinks, and Spanish tapas to be enjoyed with a choice of sherries, fruity sangria, or Spanish wines. Live flamenco music in the evenings adds to the atmosphere. This place is small and extremely popular so get there early to ensure a seat.

    • 33 Crosby Street, between Broome and Grand sts

    • 212 219 8856

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