Descending the stairs to the basement bar below Monello in the Hotel Ivy feels slightly illicit thanks to the Gothic-meets-bordello feel of the place, complete with a candelabra caked in dripping candle wax and vaguely Rembrandt-esque portraits on the wall. You can park yourself at the bar or claim one of the cushiony banquettes, settle in, and put yourself in the hands of the experienced and exacting bartenders. The multi-page drink menu is far-reaching and includes “House Originals,” “80’s Resurrections,” and even a tiki drinks section. Your server, who may well be the one mixing your cocktail, will help guide you to your perfect libation, even if that means coming up with a personalized potion created just for you. Being able to order high-end bar snacks from Monello is an added bonus, whether you go for the oysters and foie gras or the cheeseburger and tater barrels.
Readers’ Choice: Tattersall Distillery