Last week, after a gigantic birthday dinner at The Palm (not as good as Luger's, but still pretty darn good), my friends and I trekked to The Campbell Apartment, above Grand Central. Ugh. Overpriced "fancy" drinks and too-loud bad jazz. Slobbily dressed patrons. A beautiful room, yes, but the feel was just too EPCOTlike for our tastes.
So, in search of true swank, we made our way to one of my old favorites, The Blue Bar at the Algonquin. Walked in to competent though not-too-attentive service from an old waiter. There was nonstop Sinatra playing (might be a drawback for some, but I love Frank, and it was my birthday celebration after all). Plus, the bartender made a _perfect_ Sidecar. And best of all was some pretty good people-watching, like the rebounding-from--his-divorce guy with the younger woman, the Japanese tourists, and the Dorothy Parker wannabe sitting at the bar flirting.
I've been to a few other hotel bars I like -- the King Cole, Top of the Tower, etc. Just wondering which ones folks here like best, and why.