April’s generous spring weather put the VinePair staff in the mood to go out and try new things. Some of us finally visited that beloved neighborhood spot we’ve been meaning to go to, while others ventured to buzzy openings — or even reopenings. Either way, these bars and restaurants blew us away with their creative cocktails, impressive by-the-glass selections, and killer beer lists. Here are the best bars and restaurants we tried this April.
“The best new spot I tried this month was definitely Chez Oskar in Bed-Stuy. I feel like it’s a place that everybody’s been to and everybody loves. The El Pepino, Nopalita, and Pornstar Martini were all phenomenal drinks, and the food was delicious as well. The staff graciously put up with our large party of Southerners in the city. 10/10.” —Sylvie Baggett, branded content editor
“I finally made it over to Swan Room in the Lower East Side this past weekend, and — not kidding — had the absolute best Margarita I’ve ever had. Their Five Citrus Margarita was the perfect balance of all the flavors. It has blanco tequila, mandarin, bergamot, blood orange, lime, and citron salt — rounding out the drink with a beautiful frothy top. I could’ve easily drunk five more.” —Danielle Grinberg, art director
“I checked out Bar Bête, a French restaurant in Carroll Gardens for the first time recently. I was really impressed with all of their small plates (particularly the tuna toast) as well as their by-the-glass selection. In the current climate of $23-a-glass pours, it was refreshing to find an enchanting 2016 Grand Cru Riesling from Alsace on the list for $16. Their yellow cake with mounds of dark chocolate frosting and sea salt paired with Madeira was the perfect way to end the meal, too. I also made it to the opening of a new Italian restaurant in Flatiron called Carlotto. As someone who appreciates a great after-dinner drink list, I was thrilled to see their wide selection of vintage amaros, which included an incredible Radis Amaro d’Erbe from the 1980s I tried.” —Hannah Staab, assistant editor
“Fine, so it’s technically a reopening in a new spot, but neighborhood darling Virginia’s is alive and well in the East Village again after two long years dormant. Though I was admittedly already a fan of the original, the changeups on the menu are significant enough to make 2.0 feel new again. My favorite addition: the house Martini, an impressively smooth blend of vodka, absinthe, white vermouth, and toasted almond. At first sip, it’s stiff enough to complement the porky unctuousness of the restaurant’s famous bacon cheeseburger, but it leaves a warm, creamy softness on the palate thanks to the oh-so-New York addition of roasty-toasty nuts.” —Taylore Glynn, senior editor
“Hands down Birds of a Feather in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s got a lively yet refined environment inside as well as a selection of share-worthy sakes, but the real star here is the food menu, where you’ll find a number of upscale but approachable takes on your favorite Chinese staples. Just be sure you like some heat on your palate.” —Dario Foroutan, social editor
“I am OBSESSED with the Swan Room at Nine Orchard. Stacey Swenson and her team completely smashed the cocktail list: One of my faves is the Field Trip Cobbler, and the Martinis are hits. It’s such a gorgeous space and somewhere to go to feel special and lucky to live in NYC.” —Emily Arseneau, director, brand sales & partnerships
“The best new (to me) place I got to visit this past month was Rhodora Wine Bar in Fort Greene. I live in the neighborhood and walk past it all the time with the intention of going in, and I finally got the chance a couple of weeks ago. They have a brief by-the-glass list, but their bottle list is really where they shine. I ordered a Syrah and was lucky enough to secure a spot outside on their front patio to enjoy the lovely weather we’ve been having here in New York. I know it’ll be a spot I’ll be frequenting often as it continues to get warmer.” —Olivia White, editorial assistant
“The best new bar I tried this month was The Silver Stamp in Las Vegas. This low-lit, low-slung lounge has a killer beer list, vintage vibes, and absolutely nothing in common with the standard-issue Strip watering hole. Opened in 2021 in an unmarked Arts District building across the street from a wedding chapel, the Stamp isn’t nearly as old as the retro ephemera adorning its walls would have you believe, but in Vegas, authenticity is a fluid concept, and this place has ‘it.’” —Dave Infante, contributing editor and columnist
“I absolutely loved trying Calexico on the Upper East Side in early April! The Marg pitchers were superb and the spicy white queso was even better. The service was super speedy, too — always a plus!” —Nicolette Baker, news writer
“My roommate swears by a rule: ‘A good bar is one you can comfortably go to by yourself, with a first date, or with a group of friends,’ and The York is that spot — great vibe, great staff, great drinks, and the best goddamn burger I’ve had in years. In barely two months since they opened, The York has already become an East Village staple. There are no gimmicks. It simply makes you feel right at home. Not to mention, their daily happy hour is a STEAL ($12 for a beer, burger, and fries). Don’t sleep on this one.” —Pete O’Connell, intern
“Had a chance to hit up Blue Hill at Stone Barns outside of Tarrytown, New York. I am confident that the course with scallops in a rose reduction sauce and pea shoot purée is one of the best dishes I’ve had in my 48 years on this rock.” —Keith Beavers, tastings director
The article VinePair Happy Hour: What’s the Best New Bar or Restaurant You Visited This April? appeared first on VinePair.