ABC2News: 10 Best New Bars in the U.S.
When the conversation turns to cocktails, as it often does at Food & Wine, there's one person we listen to loud and clear: Jim Meehan.
He's been called many things, including: Bartender of the Year; the bar manager at Manhattan's outstanding PDT (a.k.a. the place that you walk through a phone booth, Bond-style, to enter); and Deputy Editor of Food & Wine's book series on cocktails. Because this is one of the best times in memory to be drinking great cocktails, we asked Meehan to pick his 10 favorite new spots in the U.S. He obliged:
Canon (Seattle, Washington)
At this genius spot, you can get gorgeously made cocktails like the gin-based La Bicyclette, served in a handy glass flask that you'll get in trouble for if you don't drink from it. In a marked change from many bars you've probably been to, this one has an outstanding bathroom. In fact, it won a best bathroom award in 2011 from Eater.com.
The NoMad Hotel (New York City)
"This feels like what it is - a big, beautiful American hotel bar," says Meehan of this space, which is anchored by a 24-foot mahogany bar and boasts additional rooms, like the Library. Leo Robitschek breaks the cocktail menu into categories like Soft Cocktails and Dark Spirited. Those categorized as Classics aren't classic classics; instead they tend toward terrific lesser-known drinks, like the Morning Glory Fizz, a mix of Scotch, absinthe, lemon and egg white.
The Barrelhouse Flat (Chicago, Illinois)
"This place is brilliant," says Meehan, who also likes that it's open later than most places in Chicago (in fact, the website doesn't include closing times). The huge bar houses two concepts: Downstairs is casual, with a great jukebox and a gorgeous punchbowl set-up (available by the cup, the pitcher and the bowl). Upstairs, you can find more of that perennially popular speakeasy ambiance.
Pour Vous (Los Angeles, California)
This Parisian-style cocktail lounge, with its red velvet banquettes, is gorgeous. The menu focuses on French spirits and has category titles like Parfum, with drinks like Pret a Poire (Armagnac, pear eau de vie and bitters, atomized). "It's fun," says Meehan. Out back, there's an old-school trolley car for smokers to hang out on.
The Hawthorne (Boston, Massachusetts)
Jackson Cannon is one of Meehan's favorite mixologists. (Cannon also oversees the drinks at the neighboring Island Creek Oyster Bar and Eastern Standard, which makes things easy if you want to get something to eat before or after The Hawthorne.) The space is made up of several lounges, including a comfy living room-style one outfitted with a vintage Russian vodka chiller.
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