Bar Centrale [sehn-TRAH-lee] is my favorite cocktail bar in New York. You won’t find crazy weird cocktails with ingredients you’ve never heard of. Their cocktail menu lists their Standards: Martini, Manhattan, Sidecar, etc.
It’s located on Restaurant Row, in the Theater District, just blocks away from Times Square. Which is essentially Hell. But even Hell has a hidden watering hole, and it’s Bar Centrale. You won’t find tourists here. You’ll barely find anyone here except a few well heeled theater goers and the occasional celebrity (rumor has it George Clooney’s a regular).
You MUST call ahead and make reservations. At least if you want a table. Day-of reservations will be difficult during prime time—6-8pm. Folks are pregaming for the theater. If you arrive right when they open, you should be able to get a spot at the bar. But the 8 seats fill up quickly, so don’t be late!
Phone: (212) 581-3130 [remember what I said about making reservations!]
Location: 46th St, between 8th and 9th. Tell your cab driver “46th & 8th” and walk west toward 9th.