The Bar at Baccarat Hotel
It’s hard to pinpoint what catches the eye first: the extravagant chandeliers sparkling opulently overhead, the monochrome chequerboard floors under foot, or the crimson art-bedecked walls. This is not an understated place. But why would it be? The Bar at Baccarat Hotel is, yes, the creation of that Baccarat; the centuries-old French crystal company. And The Bar is a deliciously decadent product of that high-class heritage. It gleams, it sparkles, it offers cocktails.
And they’re good and strong. Take the Lillith’s Agenda, which is made with Old Forester Kentucky Straight 100-Proof Bourbon Whisky, Michter’s Rye, Giffard Banana, Absinthe, orange bitters, lemon and ginger. Or the Desdemona on the Rocks (Don Julio Blanco, Giffard strawberry, red bell pepper, Aperol, lime and chili salt). And don’t miss the decadent, delicious Champagne cocktails, like the wonderfully-named Bonbons & Bubbles (Banks Rum, Giffard Pamplemousse, rosemary, lime, cardamom, and Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne). It’s the perfect drink to take out onto The Bar at Baccarat Hotel’s terrace – bubbles under the stars, anyone?
Speaking of Champagne: the drinks list at The Bar at Baccarat Hotel offers plenty of superlative French bottles. There’s also a good showing of European wines (with a few American and Chilean bottles thrown in for good measure), liqueurs, spirits, beers, and a few local New York ciders on the drinks list. There are even teas from Mariage Frères, an artisanal tea house based in Paris. And plenty of well-made cafes. Let’s just put it this way: while the drinks list can’t hold a candle to the art on the walls in terms of age, it can compete in terms of sheer breadth and quality.
Like the drinks list, The Bar at Baccarat Hotel’s food menu has undeniable French flair, offering everything from caviar and crème brûlée to house-made, hand-dipped truffles and French macarons. While skipping to dessert might suit the mood of this sumptuous bar, that would be to miss out on perfectly-cooked scallops with saffron and honey, foie gras, and truffled pomme frites. The only answer? Order everything. Marie Antoinette would be proud.