Not long ago (just a few days ago actually), the place to be in the city was a speakeasy, a dark and dank basement bar. The kids stayed far away from “the man” — in nightlife’s case, bottle-servicing mega clubs, huge corporate-type hangs, slick bistros, or slick anything. With the recent opening of the now beloved Standard Hotel, we seem to be getting back to the well-rounded Manhattanites we once were. These days you’ll find us venturing out from the West Village; some are even crossing over from the Lower East Side to experience the multifaceted Standard properties: the Boom Boom Room, The Standard Grill, and The Standard Beer Garden. Like a family caravan-ing to a Six Flags, we make the pilgrimage and usually end up staying all day at this adult playground. It works to our benefit, since we get the advantage of changing scenery without paying cab fare. As Steve Lewis asked, will most or all new nightlife construction be in the hotels? With that question in mind, it was time to revisit another of the city’s package deals: the all-inclusive 60 Thompson, the understated, elegant, and trendy Soho hotel which houses the undeniably chic Kittichai, Thom Bar, and A60. Can other hotels stand up to the new Standard?
Kittichai Thai stunner brings luck with goldfish, gold coins, and, at these prices, hopefully your date as well. Very slick but I wouldn’t want a Thai resto any other way. Despite the glamour of the place, the food is richly authentic. Once we checked in with the host, we took our time lingering at the shimmering front bar, built a little too close to the waiting area, but great for a first look at the design aesthetic. Dark wood is complimented by rich jewel colors and fireside lighting. While the restaurant has recently received mixed reviews on service and presentation (disposable chopsticks, slow waitstaff), my guests and I had an above-average experience that finished perfectly with the most beautiful desert fondue presentation. Atmosphere: Atmosphere is everything, with a focus . A reflecting pool explodes with orchids, which are also contained in illuminated, water-filled bottles. The fire burns hot — at least, that’s what the lighting suggests. You feel very grown-up in this sensual atmosphere. Perfect for: A corporate dinner, entertaining a wide-eyed out-of-towner, or the girls for ladies’ night; the cosmopolitan feel sets the tone. Menu Picks: ● Kittichai fish cake with cucumber and red onion chutney, $11. ● Northern Thai beef salad Chinese long beans and roasted sticky rice powder, $14. ● Crispy whole fish in lesser ginger curry, $29. ● Steamed jasmine rice, $3. ●”Sankaya” Pandan-Valrhona white chocolate sauce with seasonal fruit, $8.
Thom Bar Follow the staircase one floor up and find another welcoming nook to start off the night. Comfy club chairs and all manner of throw pillows for lounging louchely about. Class act in the hotel; not as exclusive as the members-only rooftop, but on point in all other respects. Fireplace makes for cozy winter nights, though on the particular night I went, it was a great end-of-summer spot to grab drinks with a date. Later on it turned into hipster madness of the Thursday-night party on the reg. It was a nice sight amid the lush backdrop. Atmosphere: Cozy lounge with a hint of debauchery. Beautiful decor and warm lighting. Perfect for: Visiting friends who aren’t so wide-eyed but more in the know. First date drinks; your complexion will glow in the good lighting. Early on: Cougar central, which is not a bad deal at all. Drink Menu Picks: ● Lychee martini. ● Pineapple caipirinha. ● Classic mojito.
A60 You need a VIP card or a room at the hotel in order to access one of the most beautiful views in the city. Trendy without being too obnoxious. Moneyed and attractive guests sip champagne on ice and muddled fruit concoctions. You tab will be big, but it’s worth it just to feel the breeze up here. Atmosphere: Relaxed and elegant; wooden benches and luxe outdoor furniture adorn the deck. Tea lights compliment the glittery skyline. You automatically feel like you’re on vacation. Perfect for: Absolutely everything. I’m hard pressed to find a more impressive view, more attentive bartenders, and a more mixed crowd. Drink Menu Picks: ● Champagne. ● House mojitos with Pyrat rum.