Friday night we went to The Bar Downstairs at Andaz. Ana and April came straight from work (yes, they work crazy hours in New York City), and I had just arrived after my trip to New Jersey.
I had the Penicillin cocktail, which was decorated with what I thought was dried pineapple but turned out to be dried ginger. We also had different kinds of small plates to share, and I was really impressed with the food, which was a lot better than bar food usually is. The Rock Shrimp was like Spanish Gambas Al Ajillo. It was a generous serving with lots of piping hot garlic-infused oil to dip the bread in. That dish was just perfect. Don’t think you’ll find it better in Spain. The Shishito peppers and the kale salad, which I forgot to take photos of, were also delicious.
If you just walk by Andaz you would never guess that there is a huge, hidden bar in the basement, so even though Andaz is in a rather touristy area, you won’t find many tourists at The Bar. Instead, the crowd is a rather homogenous mix of people working in the office buildings nearby, grabbing a drink after work. I liked the layout with the communal table, but the acoustics are not the best. Though if you’re sitting close and you are a small group of friends, it is not a problem to have a conversation. When we were there Friday night, people started heading home around 9pm, but Ana told me that during the week, people are usually staying longer.
My guide to other nice cocktail bars in New York City
The Bar Downstairs and Kitchen, Andaz 5th Avenue, 485 5th Ave, New York, NY 10017