The Bar Room

This young Midtown spot is well on its way to becoming an established classic

By Erik Mathes

NYC has some seriously old restaurants, but once in a while a newer spot nails the retro vibe so well you’d think they’ve been around forever. Take The Bar Room, a spot where the black-and-white checkered tile floor, massive mahogany bar, and high-ceilinged dining room lined with tufted, bottle-green banquettes make it seem decades old, and only the cuisine—running from refined bistro fare to Korean barbecue and beyond—gives away its contemporary nature.

Hidden away from the bustle of Midtown East on a quiet stretch of East 60th Street, this is the kind of place where you can do your thing in a variety of ways. Some might prefer to sit at the bar, sipping Scotch while nibbling on charcuterie, or snacking on salmon tartare with a glass of wine. Others might want to hang back in the dining room beneath a skylight, savoring freshly shucked oysters and shepherd’s pie.

A melting pot of foods from across the globe grace a menu that goes well beyond standard bar bites. If you’re into Asian flavors, there’s the steamed pork buns with Korean barbecue sauce, sesame seeds, and scallions, or the salmon with bulgogi glaze, baby bok choy, and jasmine rice. Feeling French? Go for the thinly pounded chicken paillard, with chile oil, shaved parm, and wild arugula salad with fennel. A Mexican flair shows up, too, in the form of a massive platter of pulled pork nachos with blistered jalapeños, pickled onions, and lime crema, as well as in the shrimp tacos with chile-jalapeño glaze and zucchini slaw.
Of course, you can also get your fix of popular pub eats—fried calamari with marinara and house remoulade, fish and chips, and bacon-wrapped dates with goat cheese, just to name a few. There’s also a vast selection of spirits, wine, and beer, as well as creative cocktails, like the Right on Thyme, a concoction of Cazadores Blanco tequila, fresh thyme, cranberry, lemon, and sriracha bitters, and the earthy Day Break, with Pisco Portón infused with L.I.C. Roasters coffee, Ancho Reyes, Amaro Nonino, and amaretto.

The Bar Room may be just three years old, but with the killer combination of classic cool atmosphere and a globally inspired mix of food and drink, it’s the type of place that has the potential to become a New York fixture for years to come.


Sun–Mon 11 AM–1 AM; Tue–Sat 11 AM–3 AM

price range

$17 (P.E.I. mussels) to $30 (grilled flatiron steak)