On Sunday when I got in to New York I was very tempted to order room service and have an early night. It would have been very easy to do but given that I’ve only got a few nights in New York before and after Tales, and lots of places I want to see, I figured I should make the effort and head out. After a quick ride on the 1, and a slight detour as I headed west out of the station not east, I arrived at the Flatiron Lounge.
Featuring a beautiful, long wooden bar the Flatiron Lounge has a very 1930s feel, with a relaxed atmosphere, low lighting (so low, infact, my iPhone photos of the drinks I had are absolutely useless) and old school jazz playing quietly in the background. The back bar features an expansive array of spirits and a refreshing lack of vodkas, which was immediately promising. The barman also seemed very knowledgeable, explaining the history of some of the cocktails on the menu, and their ingredients, to a group of ladies at the bar as I arrived.
I started off with a Ward Eight, a classic mix of rye, lemon, orange and grenadine. Wild Turkey rye was used, along with freshly squeezed juices and pomegranate syrup rather than a nasty modern grenadine. It was made quickly but expertly by the bartender, though if I’m being picky it wasn’t fine strained. The drink itself was a refreshing mix of sweet and tart flavours, with a heavy rye aftertaste which worked well. That said, the lingering mouthfeel was quite cloying and I wouldn’t have wanted to order another.
Next up was a new drink from their menu, the Pacific Gentlemen. An intriguing mix of gin, vermouth, Chartreuse, maraschino, mint and kalamansi, I was interested to see exactly how the drink would work out. Mint proved to be the dominant flavour, with a tasty gin sour base underneath. The Chartreuse and maraschino remained fairly subtle, and the overall result was interesting but not exactly stunning.
With a mixed crowd and an open entrance without doormen, passcodes or phone boxes to navigate, the Flatiron Lounge is an great place to enjoy well-made cocktails without some of the pretensions of some other New York bars (not that those pretensions are necessarily a bad thing – just something you may not want to deal with sometimes.) Recommended.
Flatiron Lounge is located at 37 West 19th St, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. Open 5pm to 2am (Sunday to Wednesday), 5pm to 4am (Thursday to Saturday).
Tel: +1 212 727 7741
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