Well, isn't this just darling. Mark Grossich (the guy behind such upscale cocktail lounges as The Campbell Apartment and The World Bar in The Trump World Tower) has opened this plush new venture in a former post office on the ground floor of the Empire State Building. (The whole building was recently renovated to the tune of $500 million—every window was replaced with energy efficient ones.) Called The Empire Room, the 3,500 square feet lounge is filled with art deco flourishes, lots of mohair upholstery, velvet, embossed leather and polished stainless steel. This is the place to break out your finest monocle and forget all about that vulgar recession, with the help of a few fancy cocktails.
Or, if you're a teetotaler, there are also promising house-made sodas such as the "Blackberry," made with fresh blackberries, lemon juice, honey syrup, and topped with ginger ale ($7.50). The cocktail you pictured see here is their most expensive beverage, The Empire Cocktail. It's made with Bluecoat Gin, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Royal Combier Liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and raspberry-orange marmalade crowned tableside with Moet & Chandon Champagne ($16).
The other cocktails range in price from $13.50 to $15 (see menu), and there are also some upscale comfort food snacks, like the Rib Eye Sliders ($19) and the Truffled Popcorn ($10), which is "popped to order" and "seasoned with our special spice mix and drizzled with truffle oil." Going by the look of this place, we expect it to be served with a knife and fork.
The Empire Room // Private entrance on 33rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues // Open 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. (one hour after the observatory closes).