The Monkey Bar

February 21st, 2012

Location: 60 East 54th Street, New York, NY  View Google Map
Website: Click Here

Their simple and refined calling card says it all. The Monkey Bar is an elegant and old world watering hole and restaurant which is, simply put, all grown up. Tucked in the Hotel Elysée, this midtown canteen opened in 1932 and the room reflects the weight of this history; no glass or stainless steel here, it’s a dark world of wood and wallpaper. The Monkey Bar re-opened in 2009 under the helm of Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter and with this backing, it’s no surprise that upon its re-launch they were inundated with 1000 calls a day for reservations in the dining room. Recently we snuck in after dinner for a nightcap at the bar. The dimly lit room is enveloped in charming hand-painted murals of monkeys performing various feats and getting up to appropriate nonsense like mixing banana daiquiris. Episodes of Sex and the City and Mad Men have been filmed here, and although it is frequented by celebrities, it’s the kind of place A-listers could drink discreetly because everyone is mature enough to mind their own business, and frankly doesn’t really care. What’s particularly good about The Monkey Bar is the nonchalant crowd, both young and old, who just wants a relaxed, comfortable place to drink and chat. There was recently an article in The New York Times about the impending overhaul of their food and drink menus and their intent to install a serious cocktail program – don’t worry, their signature monkey murals will stay intact. Until you can get there, below are 2 cocktail recipes, first published in The New York Times, by Julie Reiner who is part of the team revitalizing The Monkey Bar:


Monkey Gland
Ingredients
2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 bar spoon pomegranate molasses
2 dashes absinthe.

Method
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish: Luxardo cherry

Source: Adapted from Julie Reiner, Monkey Bar

Champs Élysées
Ingredients
2 ounces cognac
3/4 ounce orange liqueur
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1 bar spoon yellow chartreuse
2 dashes angostura bitters.

Method
Shake and serve in a cocktail glass.
Garnish: lemon twist

Source: Adapted from Julie Reiner, Monkey Bar


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