Bemelmans Bar at the Rosewood Carlyle hotel was our first stop in New York City. As soon as we checked into our Soho hotel and changed into cocktail-appropriate attire, we headed to the Upper East Side for a cocktail at this classic New York City historic bar.
The most distinctive feature of the bar is that the walls are covered with murals by the renowned illustrator of the Madeliene children’s book series, Ludwig Bemelmans. We had so much fun admiring the whimsical scenes on the walls and lampshades. The winter scenes were some of our favorites.
We had two cocktails from their signature cocktail list—the Red Velvet (Bulleit Rye, Spiced Plum Syrup, Egg White, Lemon Juice, and Bee Pollen), and the Tequila Manhattan (Casamigos Anejo, Capano Attica, Angostura Orange Bitters). Fall was beginning to set in, and these two cocktails were a perfect match for the falling temperatures.
Before our trip, our friend told us that Bemelman’s was “the real deal.” It definitely is. It has everything you’d expect in a high-end cocktail bar: servers in white coats, bar snacks in silver trays, piano music, candlelight, jazz music, and guests dressed to the nines. The cocktails are generous; our Manhattan came out with a small carafe of extra Manhattan mixed on the side, with the carafe neatly nestled over ice.
You’d think this place would be touristy, but it seems like the prices keep out the crowds. Our friends who live in New York City even though the cocktails were on the expensive side, but it’s definitely worth a stop for one cocktail in our opinion. The service during our experience was slow, but you’re going for the classic ambiance.
There’s a dress code in the restaurant, but the bar is a little more flexible. Note that a cover charge ($35) applies after 9:30 PM, or whenever their jazz trio starts playing, so plan accordingly. We think it would be an awesome place for late night jazz!
Thank you to Alaska Airlines for sponsoring this post.