It’s been a long winter, but longer, warmer days are just around the corner. If you have spring fever, there’s one surefire cure we know of: a night out on the town. The evenings may be damp and chilly, but on the Upper East Side, the bars are warm, and the food is piping hot. Luckily for residents of The Kent condos, some of the most happening spots in the city are only a hop, skip, and jump away. So, pull on your boots and grab your umbrella; it’s time to emerge from your cozy den and explore the nightlife of the Upper East Side.
1742 Wine Bar | 1742 Second Avenue
Wine aficionados, look no further. If you’re on the hunt for that perfectly balanced tempranillo or a rosé you’ve never tasted before, 1742 Wine Bar has you covered. The no-frills name, obviously derived from its address, says it all: this is as straightforward a wine bar as you’ll find. The wine selection is extensive, and the fare is as unpretentious as it is satisfying. Think potato gnocchi in vodka sauce or a perfectly made Margherita pizza, fresh out of the oven. When ducking in from a spring shower, is there a more welcome sight? There’s even a wine tasting option for two that includes three glasses of red, three glasses of white, two appetizers, two entrees, and two bottles of wine to take home. This way, you can relive your evening the next night.
Third Avenue Ale House | 1644 Third Avenue
Next up, there’s Third Avenue Ale House. This pick goes out to all the craft beer nerds. Saison? Double IPA? Barley wine? Fruit beer? Coffee stout? Chances are, whatever your mood requires, they have it. The 18 rotating taps are always changing, serving up something new and perhaps hard-to-find. The atmosphere is rustic and laid-back without being divey; there are TVs and Christmas lights—but plenty of polished wood and exposed brick, too. This is the place to watch the game and grab a burger, even if you don’t eat red meat. We recommend the Jalapeno Turkey Burger, topped with poblano aioli and pepper-jack cheese, or the Veggie Burger with herbed yogurt and watercress. All the burgers are served up on English muffins, lending a quirky twist to an old classic.
The Auction House | 300 East 89th Street
The Auction House may be known for its swanky, grown-up vibe, but we’d vote it the hands-down number-one spot to duck into when you need to escape pelting rain. Do so, and your cold bones will be rewarded with flickering candlelight, a rich mahogany bar, red velvet curtains and, yes, a fireplace, likely aglow with a crackling fire. It’s no wonder why New York Magazine referred to the bar as “a diamond in the rough.” With plenty of plush upholstery to sink into and oversized portraits staring down at you, you might want to stay a while. Order an old-fashioned just to watch the firelight flicker in the amber glow of the bourbon while you watch the rain slide down the windows. Fridays and Saturdays are for people 25 and over, so don’t forget your ID.