Your Personal Concierge
Top Picks for Bars Serving Specialty Drinks on the Upper East Side
There’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned vodka martini or an ice-cold domestic brew, but keep in mind that New York City is bursting at the seams with watering holes that offer more than your run-of-the-mill libations. Lorena Ringoot, Chef Concierge at The Surrey, shares her top picks for bars serving specialty drinks on the Upper East Side. For a casual, after-work hangout, Ringoot recommends The Penrose. While there, you’ll find a great selection of beer, whiskey and cocktails, as well as a small menu that includes a burger Ringoot describes as “fantastic.” She also says the establishment’s Dirty Pickle Martini is a must. “I never liked pickles before, but now McClure’s spicy pickles are an addiction.” For good bar food as well as a great selection of cocktails, J. Bird is also a great option. “The small martini glass, with a refill iced bottle on the side, is a great way to enjoy a cocktail,” she says. Fans of the bubbly brew should head to Hospoda, a noteworthy spot for Czech beer and New American Beer-Inspired cuisine. “The Creme Urquell is a Czech pilsner with a thick, creamy head and a full-balanced flavor,” she says. “The food is refined with unique presentations.” Ringoot sites The Chef’s Garden dessert as a standout. Hospoda’s beer happy hour is daily from 5:30 to 7 p.m. For a taste of Africa, Kaia Wine Bar serves South African wines in a casual setting. Ringoot describes Kaia’s small plates as bold and flavorful. “The mother and daughter who attend the dining room and bake desserts are more than adorable,” she says. “It just feels like home with good old friends.” From professional outings to personal festivities, Ringoot says The Surrey’s Bar Pleiades is the best option. “The team of amazing bartenders, who prepare special cocktails, paired with lite bites from the Café Boulud kitchen makes for an A+ choice.” Be on the lookout for Bar Pleiades’ new seasonal menu, available within the next two weeks.