Winter in the Big Apple is lovely if you are properly prepared when drinking. Seek out a watering hole that serves up a side of fire. No, we aren’t talking about flaming shots or blazing Tiki bowls. There are dozens of places with real fireplaces, capable of making that polar vortex outside seem downright charming. Grab a stiff whiskey and bring a friend or that book you simply can’t put down. These three spots make our toast to getting toasty!
ART BAR, WEST VILLAGE
The Art Bar’s been around for 20 years. If you mention it to locals, however, you might hear something along the lines of “Art Bar has a fireplace? I didn’t even know.”
The main room has a sizeable bar, comfortable bar stools and green leather booths. It’s a bit retro and a bit dive-y, without being seedy or contrived. Request a neat pour of single-malt Scotch and walk to the very back of the bar. Push aside the heavy curtain, and you’ll find a sexier lounge with a crackling fireplace, a collection of couches and small tables bathed in candlelight.
DRINK: Taylor Fladgate 10-year Tawny Port. It’s a decent deal here at $8 a glass.
DETAILS: 52 Eighth Ave.; 212-727-0244; artbar.com
CLOVER CLUB, CARROLL GARDENS, BROOKLYN
If you’re fan of craft cocktails, Clover Club is a bucket-list bar. Consistently ranked as one of the best cocktail bars in the world, it has a down-home neighborhood appeal, too. The front room is gorgeously appointed, with dark woods, antique furnishings, and a grand bar on the left side. A raised stage on your right provides small tables and intimate seating. Keep on trekking to the back room, where you can’t miss the crackling fire.
“We book the back room out privately on occasion, but most nights it’s open for seating,” offers Julie Reiner, the owner. “Just give us a call to inquire.”
DRINK: The Hot Spiked Cider. It’s Coruba rum, Laird’s Bonded Applejack, Nocello walnut liqueur, Cinnabark and hot apple cider — garnished with a sprinkle of nutmeg ($13).
DETAILS: 210 Smith St.; 718-855-7939; cloverclubny.com
LANTERN’S KEEP, MIDTOWN WEST
Even if you aren’t staying at the Iroquois Hotel, make plans to land in its lobby. Lantern’s Keep is a standalone concept, and there’s a great level of service in this den of craft cocktails. The small-plate food menu features options like venison corn dogs and porcini risotto fritters. The cocktails change seasonally, but the vibe is timeless New York City.
BONUS: Only blocks away from the chaos of Times Square, it’s your best option for a libation pre- or post-theater.
DETAILS: 49 W. 44th St.; 212-453-4287; www.iroquoisny.com/lanternskeep