Originally designed by Plaza Hotel architect Henry Hardenbergh in 1907 as a men’s bar, The Oak Room closed during Prohibition and re-opened in 1934 as a full-service restaurant. The interior is a city Landmark, as is the Plaza Hotel, which reopened in March (after extensive renovations) as a hotel and luxury condominium, where some tenants complain of loneliness. The Palm Court, that other famous eatery in The Plaza, also reopened in March to derisive reviews from Bloomberg News and the Post.
It's anyone's guess whether the food at The Oak Room will fare any better with critics, but the hiring of acclaimed chef Joël Antunes (winner of the 2005 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southeast) bodes well. And one can imagine the bar's old money, clubby charm resonating with New Yorkers' atavistic speakeasy fixation. Architect Annabelle Selldorf handled the touch-up, custom-designing "virtually everything" from the leather tables and the new copper finish atop The Oak Bar to the mohair banquettes in The Oak Room. Mmm, mohair. The photos speak for themselves; who wants to buy us a Manhattan? It opens November 8th. Click through for the elaborate cocktail menu.
THE OAK BAR
HOUSE COCKTAILS $18
Stoli Orange, St.Germain, mint, lemon and simple syrup, shaken and served up with a mint leaf
Walnut infused Calvados, Benedictine, Sweet Vermouth and ‘Bitter Truth’ Aromatic Bitters, stirred and served on the rocks with a brandied cherry
Bourbon whiskey, Angostura bitters, sugar, cherry and orange wedge, shaken and served up
Blended Scotch, Blended Irish whiskey, orgeat, lemon. Shaken and served up with a peaty scotch rinse
OAK BAR FIZZ
Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, port, Licor 43, lemon, simple syrup and egg white, shaken and served in a hi-ball with one Kold-Draft ice cube
Plymouth Gin, house made ginger beer, cucumber, mint, lime, simple syrup and club soda, shaken and served on the rocks in a hi-ball
Rittenhouse Rye whiskey, maraschino liqueur and lemon. Shaken and served up with an absinthe rinse
THE OAK ROOM MANHATTAN
Hirsch 22yr Rye, house bitters, sweet and dry vermouth, brandied cherry $40