Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008 Best of Lounge

It is safe to say that 2008 has been a turbulent and surprising year. While the nation witnessed history at the ballot box and in the capital markets, we doubled our efforts and hit every joint, bar, lounge, dive, and burlesque show in an effort to spread the lounge gospel. Loungerati partnered with The Salon and JC Hopkins. We helped promote events and crafted their cocktail menus with the help of top mixologists. We continued to buck the "dress down" (aka dumb down) aesthetic that plagues our society and went out dressed to the nines. We tried new cocktails like the Silver Fizz and old classics like the Martinez (two ways on Repeal Day).

The day after the most momentous election in our lifetime, Loungerati operatives were spotted at the Chelsea Hotel hunting down the Senator (not Obama or McCain but The Senator of Kansas City). Once apprehended (stumbling and muttering down 23rd Street), he was whisked to Flatiron, Daddy-O, and Little Branch. A mini-Summit occurred and the Lounge Doctrine reaffirmed over Penicillin cocktails. A new era in lounge living seemed on the horizon.

December saw Loungerati celebrate its' second birthday on Repeal Day and make the scene at all the top lounges to celebrate holiday cheer. We didn't let the doom and gloom of the daily financial results stop our mission. Sure, our Paul Stewart houndstooth jackets maybe purchase on ebay, but that doesn't mean we cannot be civilized about it all. After all, looking like a million, doesn't need to cost a million. We proved that at Ella Lounge for Holiday Cocktails. What a perfect ending for a banner year. On that note, we would like to bring you our Best of Lounge list for 2008. These selections were hard to make but we believe they accurately capture our year:

Top Lounge Newcomers
Clover Club, Brooklyn
Macao Trading Company, Tribeca
White Star, LES
(Honorable mention: The Jakewalk)

Top Lounge Veterans
Death & Company, East Village
Milk & Honey (sorry can't say)
PDT, East Village
(Honorable mention: Pegu Club, Flatiron Lounge, and Little Branch)

Top Old School Joints
Lenox Lounge, Harlem
Freddy's, Prospect Heights
Arthur's Tavern, West Village
(Honorable mention: Frank's, Ft. Greene)

Top Pubs
Conker Hill, Hell's Kitchen
Chip Shop, Brooklyn Heights
Spotted Pig, West Village
(Honorable mention: The Libertine)

Top Burlesque clubs

Corio Parlor - "This is Burlesque"
The Zipper Club
Slipper Room

Best Seat in the House
The "Mafia Table" at PDT
Seat F14 at Clover Club
Any Bar Seat at M & H
(Honorable mention: The "Regular" seat at EO)

Top Loungerati Hangouts
Clover Club, Brooklyn
White Star, LES
Employees Only, West Village
(Honorable mention: Brooklyn Social, Flatiron Lounge, The Jakewalk)

Top Brooklyn Lounge/Bars
Clover Club
Brooklyn Social
The Jakewalk
(Honorable mention: Weather Up, Huckleberry Bar, Hotel Delmano)

Top Biergartens

Radegast Hall, Brooklyn
Loreley, LES
Franklin Park, Crown Heights
(Honorable mention: Gowanus Yacht Club)

Top Joints for Eating at the Bar
Char No 4, Brooklyn
Jack the Horse Tavern, Brooklyn
Freemans, LES
(Honorable mention: Blue Ribbon and Balthazar)

Best of the Internationals

Curio Parlor, Paris
Tausend, Berlin
Bramble, Edinburgh
(Honorable mention: Experimental Cocktail Club - Paris, Victoria Bar- Berlin)

Best Cocktail of 2008
Paper Plane (Bourbon, Aperol, Nonino Amaro, Lemon Juice) - Sam Ross
(Honorable mention: The Jersey Julep - Giuseppe Gonzalez, Vieux Carre at Little Branch)

Best Bar Food
Lamb burger, Clover Club
Deviled Eggs, Pegu Club
Bar Steak, Balthazar
(Honorable mention: John Delucie's Pork Chop at The Waverly Inn)

Best place for a cigar
University Club private balcony
The Havana Room
Hudson Bar & Books
(Honorable mention: Circa Tabac)

Best place to get a cocktail after dodging an oncoming taxi
Little Branch

Top Bartenders of 2008
Giuseppe Gonzalez, Clover Club
Sam Ross, Milk & Honey
Damon Dyer, Flatiron Lounge
(Honorable mentions: Maxwell Britten, Jack the Horse Tavern, Alex Day, Death & Company, Nino Cirabisi, Brooklyn Social, Jason Kosmas, Macao Trading Co, Igor H, Employees Only, and Ari Form, The Jakewalk)

Best Night to go out

Sunday Night (Death & Company then White Star then M&H - ask for bar seat)
Runner up Wednesday (Tailor then Little Branch then cab it to Clover Club for night cap)

Worst Night
Whenever Senator stumbles into town

Most Sought Liquors for the Home Bar
Plymouth Sloe Gin
Carpano Antica vermouth
Batavia Arrack
(Honorable Mention: Bols Genever, Branca Menta - for our pal Bena)

Best Dressed Loungerati staff members
Eff from Loungerati
Jee Jee
(Honorable mention: Grumpy, Fredo from Loungerati)

Lounger Number One

Graeme J
(Honorable mention: Eryn R., Sam Kershaw, and Patrick S.)

Places we want to visit in 2009:
Dutch Kills (to be opened soon in LIC)
Dressler for brunch
Victoria Bar in Berlin
Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans
Woodson and Ford
The Violet Hour, Chicago

Grace - this bar was just one of those place that had a great Whiskey/Scotch selection, consistent food, the longest bar I've ever seen, and a proprietor (Fred M) who remembered your name even after a year. It survived 9/11 and years when Tribeca was no mans land. It closed this year and we will miss Grace. Salute!

Happy New Year!!!

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