Just moved to NY (from SF) and am looking for some classic cocktail bars - something that calls up the 20's through 50's feeling. I've been to the Campbell Apartment and loved the room and decor but it was SRO and, I thought, overpriced for standing in a tiny spot on the floor being bumped by the waitstaff and commuters/tourists packed in. I've also found the Monkey Bar - great murals - but was turned off by the red & white checked tablecloths which looked like a diner. I was at the Oak Room at the Plaza years ago, too, and enjoyed the ambiance...don't know how it is now.
Any suggestions for something sophisticated, non-touristy, with background music low enough to have a conversation? In SF I was a fan of Original Joe's (before the fire), Tadich Grill, the Redwood Room at the Clift (before its modernization), and Bourbon and Branch. Thanks very much for your insights and suggestions.