The NoMad neighborhood has been overlooked throughout the years by many New Yorkers. Not only because of it’s location – NOrth of MADison Square Park (and south of Herald Square) – but because it was mad sketch as it was the entertainment-and-vice “red light district” full of lounges, strip clubs, casinos and dance halls back in the day. Crime came after which lead to a major neighborhood transformation. Now, commercial establishments, start-up businesses, upscale hotels and stylish restaurants and nightspots consume the area (and the Ace Hotel isn’t the only one).
Enough with the history; here is where you should drink in NoMad.
GUIDE TO DRINKING IN NOMAD
For Beer-Snobs – BELGIAN BEER CAFE
Two floors. Floor-to-ceiling windows. Park views. Long bar. Beer-based plates like Carbonnades Flamandes (beef stew cooked with dark beer) and blonde, brune, amber, lambic, sour and witbier beers.
Even the Belgians are impressed.
Drink this: Belgian Beer…because you are at the Belgian Beer Cafe. In all honesty, discuss your taste profile with your server. He/she will recommend the appropriate variety of each beer just for you.
220 5th Ave. at West 26th St, 212-575-2337, bbcnomad.com
For Whiskey-Slickers – Maysville
Most men will admit, they love girls who sip whiskey. So, why not guide your guy to an American whiskey bar and restaurant like Maysville? The southern-inspired food, like crispy chicken wings, will get you licking your (or his) fingers, and the whiskey will certainly get you both frisky real fast. “Whiskey & A Beer” specials are available too…if you want to speed up your night. Do consider coming back for brunch (doesn’t have to be the next morning) for a Smoked Chipotle Bloody Mary.
Drink this: A Whiskey Cocktail…that’s a no-brainer.
17 West 26th St (between 6th Ave. & Broadway), 646-490-8240, maysvillenyc.com
For Drinking-Diners – The Breslin
Contemporary British pub grub via chef April Bloomfield, located in the Ace Hotel. Come for the lamb burger; stay for the DJ hits and list of libations available at the lobby bar.
Drink this: Fancy Pimm’s Cup – Pimm’s No. 1, Beefeater Gin, Little Jumbo Ginger Brew, Press Lemon & Orange bitters
16 West 29th St (between Broadway & Fifth Ave.), 212-679-1939, thebreslin.com
For Health-Conscious Sippers – Wagamama
We welcomed the Asian-inspired and Japanese chain restaurant (originally from London) to New York City last month. Situated on the northwest corner of Madison Square Park, Wagamama stands two stories tall and dishes out ramen brunch, lunch and dinner. Unlike its Boston brother, New York’s Wagamama location features a full cocktail program that includes handcrafted cocktails, Asian beers and sake. Looking to sip something healthier? Wagamama offers a selection of fresh-pressed juices that will help you get your daily fruits and veggies like the “Clean Green” with kiwi, avocado and apple. Add a spirit of choice to any juice for just $7, if you choose to not count calories that day.
Drink this: Momo Iced Tea – Iwai Whisky, Peach Brandy & Earl Grey Tea; Squeeze of fresh lemon and sugar to finish
210 5th Ave. (near East 26th St), 212-920-6233, wagamama.us
For “Wine-ing” Women – La Pecora Bianca
Bubbly carafes, cheese blocks and meat boards are waiting for you here. Snag a stool along the stylish, white-washed bar (or the chef’s corner bar) to enjoy market-driven Italian cuisine, regional wines and apéritifs on tap at restaurateur Mark Barak’s (Claudette) latest corner spot. Plates are prepared with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients – Perfect to share with your gal pals while discussing recent engagements *eye-roll* Opt for a wine cocktail over an average white.
Drink this: Negroni Rosato – Fords Gin, Lillet Rose Aperitif Wine, Campari Aperol, Grapefruit Juice & Orange Juice
1133 Broadway at West 26th St, 212-498-9696, lapecorabianca.com
For Working Professionals – Cannibal Liquor House
Expect a well-lit stocked bar of spirits and specialty cocktails from top mixologist Bill Brooks based on the American history of cocktails, which he describes as “from pre-Prohibition, the tiki craze, shitty cocktails of the 70’s and 80’s, all the way up to the cocktail revivals happening in the 90’s.” The American cocktail bar offers solid bar snacks – hamburger, dry-aged patty melt, and rib-steak with Caesar salad – from chef Francis Derby of The Cannibal Beer & Butcher (it’s “beer-focused sibling” next door). Contact your co-workers, and tell them to come through. Work gossip is way more exciting over booze and bites.
Drink this: SCOTCH, or Truffle Shuffle – Blended Scotch, Chestnut Honey & Lemon. And this: TEQUILA, or Sotol Swizzle – Sotol, Aperitivo, Saler’s Quince & Mint
111 East 29th St (between Park & Lexington Aves.), 212-685-5585, thecanniballiquorhouse.com
For the Solo-Sipper – Covina
Coffee shop, bar, restaurant – all-in-one – at The Park South Hotel. You have options as to where you want to sit, sip, eat and enjoy yourself. The staff is extremely friendly, and will probably be your dining companion. The Cali-Med fare is not over-the-top fancy, but treat yo’self-worthy. The restaurant space is colorfully patterned, features an open-format kitchen and U-shape bar serving simple, refined cocktails and lesser-known varietals. Yummy pastries and Counter Coffee available in the coffee parlor.
Drink this: Rose Hill Sour – Hendrick’s Gin, Mezcal-rose Cordial, Lemon Juice, Egg White & Peychaud’s Bitters; Cucumber ice-cube for chill
127 East 27th St (between Park & Lexington Aves.), 212-224-0225, covinanyc.com
For the Well-Clad – The NoMad Bar
Trying to impress her on date #2, or surprising him by rallying his best buds for the big 3-0, the NoMad Bar is a lively, fancy tavern for costly-casual pub fare and classically-focused cocktails on any special night. Award-winning Bar Director Leo Robitschek understands drink options – from standard beers, sought-after wines and reserve cocktails crafted with unique spirits to festive large-format drinks, or Cocktail Explosions which serves six-to-eight.
Drink this: Check out the large format Separatist with bourbon, Amaro Cio Ciaro, lemon and orange. You can’t go wrong.
10 West 28th St (between Broadway & Fifth Ave.), 212-796-1500, thenomadhotel.com
For the Out-of-Towners – The Roof at Park South
Although it’s currently closed for the season, The Roof at Park South is a great alternative to tourist-trap 230 Fifth during the warmer months. The hotel roof bar offers exceptional skyline views, killer cocktails by Ted Kilspatrick (again) and light Mediterranean dining by the Boston-based husband-and-wife team who stand behind O Ya. There’s a fireplace too – Christmas in July?
Drink this: Whiskey Smash – Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Mint Syrup, Lemon…& More Mint
124 East 28th St, at West 27th St, 212-448-0888, roofatparksouth.com
For Flashy Finance Bros – Squares
Remember the “riff raff” at Riff Raff’s? Morning breakouts from random face-paint, flu-like symptoms from the massive tiki-punch-heads. Well, we’re passed that. Enter Squares. A spacious square space outlined in square mosaic-like tiles serving square-shaped snacks and cocktails by mixologist Bryan Schneider (Quality Eats, Clover Club). Bottle service is open for heavy spenders while the dance floor is open for girls to grab the bottle buyer’s attention. Nightlife is officially back in NoMad.
Drink this: Lego Mule – Cucumber-infused Vodka & Ginger Beer…basically a cucumber-infused Moscow Mule in a Lego mug. Or this: French 750 – A large format French 75 (Gin, Lemon & Champagne) topped with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne. Ladies will be flocking to your table in no time.
360 Park Ave. South, at West 26th St, squaresny.com
For Frat Bros – Tavern29
Bloodies over bros. This two-story tavern with a seasonal rooftop beer garden offers an array of American comfort food, rotating beers and whiskey flights. Come through for pre-game, post-work or mid-week drinks. Table reservations are available inside while the roof is first come, first serve. Plan ahead, especially on Sundays where football and bottomless brunch collide.
Drink this (for two hours): Tavern29 Bloody Mary – Homemade Bacon-infused Vodka, Olives, Citrus & Hickory Smoked Bacon; Rimmed with salt & cayenne pepper. Served in a stein. Beware of chicks trying to keep up with the dudes.
47 East 29th St (near Park Ave.), 212-685-4422, tavern29.com