Bemelmans Bar

Top choice lounge

in Upper East Side

Sink into a chocolate-leather banquette and take in the glorious, old-school elegance at this atmospheric bar – the sort of place where the waiters wear white jackets and serve martinis, a pianist tinkles on a baby grand and the ceiling is 24-carat gold leaf. The walls are covered in charming murals by the bar's namesake Ludwig Bemelmans, famed creator of the Madeline books.

Show up before 9pm Sunday and Monday (9:30pm Thursday to Saturday), when the jazz trio usually starts and a more formal dress code kicks in, if you don't want to pay a cover charge (per person $15 at the bar, $25 to $35 at tables).