Kiss & Fly
(212) 255-1933, NYC
This whimsical and chic club in the Meatpacking District is worth the wait to get inside—if you can swing the pricy cover, mandatory coat check and expensive drinks. As you enter it’s clear you’re in a world of booming dance music, models and the occasional celebrity, but everyday folks comprise most of the undulating horde. Between the blue, purple and pink accent lighting, raised VIP tables and grand columns, it feels like a fairytale. Situated just behind the Spice Market, Kiss & Fly is owned by the same people who run Brasserie Beaumarchais and RdV Lounge.
(516) 752-7678, Farmingdale
This Lessing’s-owned restaurant focuses on local beers, but also boasts a liquor shelf that extends nearly to the ceiling. A quirky and functional rolling library ladder helps the bartenders navigate the wall in what was an old neighborhood library. It’s now a fun local bar with a great happy hour that satisfies any craving. The hefty wood bar stretches nearly the entire length so there is plenty of elbow space.
Vero Italian Kitchen & Lounge
(631) 608-4340, Amityville
A fire a few months ago shut Vero down, but it reopened with relaxed, intimate décor. While the restaurant is solid, the bar scene won’t disappoint with hard-to-find ciders like J.K.’s Scrumpy Hard Cider from a family-owned farm in Michigan. The creamy white stone bar is outfitted with comfy stools under attention-grabbing lighting in a room wrapped in textured wallpaper with dark-wood millwork and floors.
Minnesota’s Restaurant and Tavern
(516) 432-4080, Long Beach
Long Beach and summer are predictably linked, but the city could use a shot in the arm this spring as it continues to recover from Sandy. Last winter Minnesota’s, a staple for nearly 20 years, underwent renovations with new chandeliers and rich, red curtains on the walls, capturing a glamorous but laid-back aesthetic. Live bands or a DJ keep the crowd moving with covers or current dance music, respectively. Just a block from the beach, they throw quite a party for Long Beach Irish Day in the fall.