When Hemingway wrote about a man needing “a clean, well-lighted place” for drinking, he probably didn’t have a spot as plush as Tribeca’s Brandy Library in mind, but this spacious lounge is bright antidote to the typical low-lit drinking den. Table lamps provide a warm glow off a reflective ceiling, as top-shelf bottles dazzle like objets d’art inside impeccable wooden shelves. One thing is sure: this is the sexiest reading room you’ll ever come to. A heavily male clientele characteristic of the Financial District comes to unwind and nose into the classics—the kind that come in cocktail glasses, that is. Papa Hemmingway would have found plenty to like among the lengthy selection of small plates and cocktails. Well-read bartenders steer drinkers to the bar’s specialties, classic brandy-based drinks like a Sidecar or a Brandy Alexander. More nouveau palates can sample original fare like the Peanut Butter Cup, a confection of cream and liquor served with a shortbread finger. Sure, there are plenty of places in N.Y.C. to brush up on the cocktail canon, but few write the book as well as Brandy Library.
25 N. Moore St. (at Varick St.); 212-226-5545; brandylibrary.com