(631) 549-0100, Huntington
For the best margarita in Suffolk County make haste for New York Avenue. Do not pass “GO.” Do not collect $200. Besito will not disappoint. The restaurant opts for authenticity by showcasing fine Mexican spirits at the bar and art on its walls. Low lighting and candles illuminate hundreds of popular and hard-to-find tequilas. But they make it easy: All the elixirs are separated by age. The blancos referred to as “shooters,” “sippers” for reposados and “savours” for añejos (they haven’t forgotten about the extra añejos and mezcals, though). There are also plenty of Mexican and Spanish-style beers and wines to choose from. Even near closing-time on a weeknight, patrons (both single and coupled) enjoyed delectable tequila cocktails while Mexican-style guitar music played in the background. Weekends bring crowds to the bar, which means somewhat limited seating. But the equally charming dining room is a great alternative for groups seeking bona fide Mexican plates.
The Bell House
(718) 643-6510, Brooklyn
Strings of lightbulbs illuminate the entryway and bring life to the dead end street where The Bell House resides, near the Gowanus inlet in Brooklyn. The converted 1920s warehouse-turned-music venue provides a wood-and-brick industrial vibe for indie solo artists, musicians, bands, comedians and release parties. The main bar has ample room and encompasses two separate lounge areas, two large antique wooden high tops and a spacious bar full of craft beers and spirits. Hate Brooklyn hipsters? Stay away, because they set the tone here. The bar is really just a pit stop before each night’s show, better to ignore the lackluster cocktail list and enjoy a simple drink in a plastic cup (fall lovers, there’s pumpkin beer on tap AND in a can!). It’s worth the trip, but make sure you know (and like) who is performing that night since the bar dies down during the show.
The Jane Hotel
(212) 924-6700, NYC
F. Scott Fitzgerald would have been proud: This Gatsby-chic hotel houses an exceptional lounge and bar for overnight guests and visitors. Plush velvet couches, mile-high palms and mismatched Moroccan décor make for an exotic platform upon which to enjoy beautifully created cocktails and artistic plates. Adding to the allure is what seems to be hundreds of nooks and hideaways that augment the intriguing and somewhat voyeuristic mood. There is also a dimly lit section with couches and candlelight and a spacious main area for groups. Servers adorned in classy black and white provide excellent service, reinforcing the luxe experience.