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NYC's Best Bar: Upstairs at the Kimberly?

Is Upstairs at the Kimberly the best bar in NYC? We size it up.

As Metro’s spirits editor, T. Michelle Murphy hits a lot of bars. In this new column, in various states of sobriety, she offers her take on New York City’s finest — and foulest — alcohol-proffering establishments.

Upstairs


145 E. 50th St. (Penthouse)

www.upstairsnyc.com

SYNOPSIS

This is the place for singles and couples who've outgrown the Meatpacking District.

Neighborhood: Midtown East

Ambience: (Thursday, 9:30 p.m.) A serene lobby downstairs was false advertising for a bustling penthouse terrace filled with men in suits and maybe a handful of women. It was a very classy sausage fest.

Bartenders: Almost every server here looked like a model, only happier. The bartenders were tucked safely away behind the bar, but our waitress, Zorka, helped us navigate the cocktail menu. We didn't actually like what she recommended, but that's OK.

Cocktails:At $18 a pop, the signature cocktails here are extremely hit or miss (and the descriptions will not help you sort out which is which). We enjoyed the Electrolyte: a watermelon, pineapple and lemon refresher. We also liked the Epiphany: watermelon and champagne. Here's what we learned that will help us sort out the winter menu when it comes in: Go with what's simplest. (Except DO NOT order the Watson. You'll want to, but just don't.)

Food:The food here is SO GOOD. Get the ricotta fritters or you will regret it forever. The only baffling mistake on the savory bites menu is the bruschetta, which looks like a bizarre interpretation by someone who has never heard of it before. The crackers don't even work as crackers; they fall apart instantly as the tomato juice soaks through them and you have a squishy mess on your blouse.

Price: ($$$) David Andrews' (mostly) delicious small plates range from $9-$95, while drinks by Alex Ott are all $18 (a little steep for barely alcoholic concoctions).

Specials:The view is pretty special, and you'll feel special at a VIP table. Otherwise, no.

Drunkenness: (++) We had to try a lot of drinks to find one we liked! (But we did not even finish all of them. That should say everything.)

Best bar in NYC for … young bachelors who aren't afraid to walk up and say hello.


To suggest a contender for NYC’s best bar, tweet T. Michelle Murphy: @TMichelleMurphy.

To suggest a contender for NYC’s best bar, tweet T. Michelle Murphy: @TMichelleMurphy.

 

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