Brandy Library

Like some hallowed center of higher learning, amber-lit Brandy Library is a labor of love. While spirit sommeliers neatly climb ladders to fetch the namesake bottles that line the space’s vertical shelves, you can sink into a buttery tobacco leather chair, Alistair Cooke–style, or cozy up with a date on a banquette in the bar, occupied by both fashionable locals and fellows with loosened ties. The book everyone is here to check out is the fat bound menu showcasing refined Cognacs (including a 1918 Darroze Armagnac that runs $650 for a two ounce pour), rustic Calvados, and just about anything else you could think of, including more than 115 classic and house cocktails. They arrive in splendid Nick and Nora–worthy glassware (think small martini or wide-mouth champagne glasses). Still, like any great, but flawed novel, there is much to love here. — Carla Spartos

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New York Lexikon