10 W. 28th St nr Broadway, Flatiron
The Place: I’ve been wanting to go to NoMad Bar since it opened, and especially after it was rated best bar in the city in some article by some magazine that screams faux importance (probz NY Mag)*. Also my bartending bud Hector says he would work there, so I’m like, done.
The Time: Tuesday March 15, around 8:30pm. I took a class with a casting director at a studio nearby; the boyfriend was busy working, so I have an hour and half to kill and decide to treat myself to an expensive drink (anything more than $12 is expensive for me, and this one would cost me $16 sans tip).
The Vibe: Swanky flatiron hotel, which is what you’d expect from a bar inside the NoMad Hotel. The bar is smaller than I expected, I have to walk through a sea of people in suits sitting at tables in order to get to the bar all the way in the back, which is pretty awkward considering I have my backpack the size of a great dane puppy strapped to my back. More suits to wade through in order to get to the actual bar to get a menu, and I have to do a bunch of hovering before I nab an upholstered bar stool/chair contraption. Once there, the bar itself is super nice, high ceilings so it’s not claustrophobic even when a clusterfuck of finance bros are unwinding with their old fashioneds after a hard day’s work doing whatever it is they do.
The Bartender: The lads and lasses in the maroon aprons know what’s up. I chat with the one lady behind the stick and we gripe about idiot bartenders who don’t know how to make a negroni, or worse, those who try to shake one.
The Drank: The Montauk; a variation on a classic negroni, with navy strength gin and punt e mes playing with both blanc and sweet vermouths. Yum. The menu is stacked with drinks I’d drink, and they separate the vast array into categories like “classics” and “our classics” and “adventurous” and “refreshing bubblies” (I made these up, but you get the idea).
Was I Hit On? With the best pickup line I’ve ever gotten. As I take out my magazine (NY Mag, don’t judge) and start reading, the guy in the upholstered stool/chair next to me nudges me on the shoulder, and says, “So you read.” I say, “I am literate, yes.” He doesn't understand why I'm not flattered by his keen observation skills, so he turns to his finance pal and knows not to try to talk to me again.
Should You Drink Here Alone? Yes? But I’d go earlier, when it’s less suity and you can read in peace.
*Just kidding, it was Time Out NY, but I was really close