New York is a city of juxtapositions. It is one of the many reasons why I love it so. Pace and calm, classic and contemporary, loud and quiet, the contrasts sit alongside each other perfectly creating a heady ying and yang that feeds the soul on a daily basis. For a few moments each day, these streets of endless contrasts perform for me. It’s an intricate show that I observe as I glide along in my Maybach S600. Silent movement and a gently humming turbo v-12 engine offer me a rare moment of quiet to reimagine the soundtrack of New York. To reimagine the rush hour cacophony, the madding crowds and buzzing traffic. This silence is usually the preserve of hidden venues that offer a beautiful, calming and welcoming respite from the super charged world outside their door. Venues that I invariably turn the car towards.
EnlargeOne such venue for me is The Nomad Bar, the elegant dining and drinking venue that sits within The Nomad Hotel located amongst the bustle of the Flatiron district with Broadway and 28th Street running either side of it. To escape into its warm and knowing confines from the manic streets is to step into a place that immediately feels like a second home that not only knows you well but knows what they do well and do it very well indeed.
Whether stepping in from its own entrance on West 28th st or making your way through the lush, enveloping shades that color the hotel’s lobby and Atrium, the feeling is the same as soon as you step in. Time stops and you are transported into an environment that calls out for you to relax and park the thoughts, the stresses, the urgency that New York so often throws at you (speaking from personal experience of course) and simply focus on yourself and the pursuit of a good time.
The high ceilinged, dark-wooded room is softly lit, with booths to pour yourself into and relax over a long laughter filled evening. However the focus of the room is a stunning mahogany bar running along its length. Sat behind it you are greeted by a dazzling array of liquors that entice and excite in equal measure. Atop the room is a balcony dining room that offers incredible dishes from leading chef Daniel Humm. Here you can take in the wonderful atmosphere that emanates from the bar area as you tuck into dishes that are hearty and comforting in their description along with being truly mind blowing to taste
Whilst the food is a huge and understandable draw for many (am certain the motivation to get there for its Chicken Pot Pie has enabled me to break cross town commute records) the other and equally enticing draw is the craftsmanship going on behind the bar under the direction of the legendary Leo Robitschek. As you draw up a stool at the bar and start a conversation with the barman it becomes clear that the passion that drove the creation of this old school, flatiron oasis of elegance continues into the minds and mixes of the engaging and ever curious bar staff. Cocktail menu inspiration reflects the history of the area but it is in considering this world of juxtaposition that the Nomad Bar comes into its own. You see, whilst there is deference to the classics and the provenance of the ingredients that form them you only need to spend five minutes chatting with the ebullient keepers of the bar to understand that as well as paying homage to the past, they are always looking to the future.
There is a focus (inspired and driven by Robitschek) on progress and understanding how classics can be evolved or new drinks be inspired by them. This is not to say that classics are parked (as a locals’ bar they will work to any tipple you fancy) but do ask questions and be open to trying the new and see where it takes you. The quality of the mixologist’s craft will delight you I promise. For me the Gentleman’s Exchange encapsulates this perfectly with its use of cold brew coffee and rye that creates a tasting experience both unusual and familiar at the same time. It challenges and stirs thoughts of past experiences but also introduces a new experience and for me that sums up The Nomad Bar perfectly: A venue that nods to and recognizes the timeless quality of the past but also embraces the future and recognizes the need to innovate and produce new offerings for modern, discerning tastes.
In a city of juxtapositions let The Nomad Bar be your escape, your pleasure and your introduction to experiences that thrive on contrasts and celebrate it brilliantly.