If we asked you for a Sidecar, you might draw us a picture of a bulldog wearing a helmet, speeding down the highway alongside a motorcycle. While we’d probably pin it to our fridge, it’s not what we were looking for. Instead, we’d hope you’d hand us a Sidecar cocktail. Or if you don’t happen to have Cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice handy, you’d go pick up an excellent version at any of the spots on this guide.
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The Orchard Townhouse
This American spot in Chelsea is two blocks from the Hudson River and a few steps from The Highline. So whether you’re spending the afternoon taking in views of Jersey or tourists from Jersey, stop by afterwards for cocktails, oysters, and a cheeseburger topped with a fried egg.
Asking if you should go to Bar Goto for their cocktails or their spicy miso chicken wings is like asking if you should compliment your significant other on their beauty or their brains. The answer is both.
Bar Goto Niban
At Bar Goto’s Park Slope location, you’ll find similarly great cocktails and bar snacks, including their spicy miso chicken wings, three blocks from the Barclays Center.
We’re thinking of a colorful place where you celebrate birthdays, eat delicious snacks, and often leave with brain freeze. It’s not laser tag, it’s Diamond Reef, a big tropical-themed bar in Bed-Stuy. If you want to avoid the brain freeze part, try not to go overboard on all of their frozen cocktails, and mix in some less icy ones, like a Sidecar, as well.
There’s no wrong time to get a $1 pb&j sandwich, but there are some times when it’s especially right, including as an accompaniment to a to-go Sidecar, or after finishing oysters that come with pineapple mignonette. In other words, you should probably order one at this tropical-themed cocktail bar in the East Village.
Crown Shy is like Stomp, but instead of using brooms and hubcaps to make music, they use simple-sounding dishes to compile phenomenal food. Whether it’s their hummus, grilled chicken, or ice cream, each one is worth a trip across the city. There’s no need to stop at one, though, and we recommend getting all three, plus a near-perfect Sidecar, at a table on Pine Street, which is currently closed to traffic.
If Clover Club is your go-to after-dinner spot in Cobble Hill (or all of Brooklyn), then you’ve had lots of very enjoyable nightcaps. But you’d also be missing out. Because while its drinks are fantastic, the food - like mac and cheese with smoked bacon, and steak tartare on housemade focaccia - make it a good option for dinner as well.
This Harlem cocktail lounge offers mixed drinks with ingredients like Arabian jasmine, absinthe foam, and bergamot bitters, and while you won’t be upset with anything on the menu, the fact that you’re reading this guide suggests you already know what you want to drink. Fortunately, they make an excellent Sidecar as well.
Bottino offers takeout all day Monday through Saturday, but we recommend making a reservation for a table on their patio. The ivy-covered back garden is one of the nicest outdoor dining setups in Chelsea, and it’s a great spot to have cocktails and duck confit rigatoni with a date.
A quick glance at Katana Kitten’s food menu might lead you to believe that you’re in for standard bar snacks to go along with your Sidecar. You would be mistaken. The fries are topped with seaweed flakes, the burger is covered in shiitake teriyaki sauce, and the katsu sandwich is made with mortadella. They’re all fantastic, as are the cocktails and sake selection at this Japanese spot in the West Village.
The food menu at this French spot on Bowery ranges from filet mignon dumplings to squid ink gnocchi with Iberico ham, but if you’re looking for even more cognac than what’s in your Sidecar, go with the dry-aged burger topped with cognac-pork belly jam.