Monkey Bar

Bar / Restaurant
Monkey Bar "One glance at the elegant Monkey Bar, an old New York-style bar on the ground floor of the luxurious boutique Hotel Elysée – nicknamed the ""easy lay"" in the 40s – will convince dapper patrons they've been transported to the..." New York United States 40.7600275 -73.973006
3.12 5
Monkey Bar - Bar | Restaurant in New York.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review One glance at the elegant Monkey Bar, an old New York-style bar on the ground floor of the luxurious boutique Hotel Elysée – nicknamed the “easy lay” in the 40s – will convince dapper patrons they’ve been transported to... ... read full review

  • Subway:

    E, M: 5th Avenue-53rd Street; E, 6: Lexington Avenue-53rd Street

  • Phone:

    212-486-2408

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–F 11:30am–midnight, Sa 5pm–midnight
    Restaurant: M–F 11:30am–3pm and 5:30pm–midnight, Sa 5:30pm–midnight

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Monkey Bar Review

The Scene

"One glance at the elegant Monkey Bar, an old New York-style bar on the ground floor of the luxurious boutique Hotel Elysée – nicknamed the ""easy lay"" in the 40s – will convince dapper patrons they've been transported to the..."

One glance at the elegant Monkey Bar, an old New York-style bar on the ground floor of the luxurious boutique Hotel Elysée – nicknamed the “easy lay” in the 40s – will convince dapper patrons they’ve been transported to the era of brandy, cigars, and effortless class that marked the bar’s original opening in 1936.

Ambient jazz fills the small room, whose mustard-yellow walls are enlivened by a delightful décor featuring monkey murals and tufted leather banquettes warmly lit by candles and brass monkey sconces.

Once the stomping grounds for Hollywood and literary luminaries, the bar has found new life since Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter reopened its doors in 2009 as a place to entertain his celebrity pals.

Now popular for after-work vintage cocktails and stimulating conversation, the swanky bar draws an upscale and sophisticated clientele of midtown business and finance types who swarm in to sip Manhattans in classic red leather booths, while perfectly suited and coiffed singles mix and mingle at the sleek mirror-backed wooden bar.

Just beyond the zebra carpets in the marble hallway lies a spacious restaurant offering upscale comfort food and an impressive Ed Sorel mural that pays homage to sixty Jazz Age figures like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Babe Ruth, Cole Porter, Mae West, and Billie Holiday.

The hallway also leads to the stunning marble lobby of the hotel, whose walls have witnessed such significant historical events as the ironic death-by-eye-dropper of colorful playwright Tennessee Williams.

Monkey Bar’s fascinating history and charmingly nostalgic décor give the venue a subdued elegance that attracts a new generation in the mood for more sophisticated revelry.

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Tip from Adriana:

Monkey Bar is a great after-work indulgence, but it’s also a weekday lunch hotspot. I can’t think of a more elegant place for a delicious meal and a midday martini, all while surrounded by celebrities and their agents chatting at the other tables.

  • Crowd

    Professionals and corporate types earlier in the evening, young fashionable professionals later on, mid-20s to 50s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Ambient jazz.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Bar menu of upscale cocktail treats from crispy oysters to grilled sardines. The restaurant offers full lunch and dinner menus featuring sophisticated comfort foods like Normandy duck and Berkshire pork. Kitchen closes at midnight.

  • Prices

    Bar menu $12–$22. Restaurant: appetizers $11–$24, entrées $19–$36+. Beer $8–$25, wine $9–$30/glass or $40–$120+/bottle, cocktails $12–$18.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    No dress code, but tends to range from business casual to dressy. Suits, conservative dresses, heels.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Weekdays after work, and Thursday nights for a good mix of business types and the pre-Friday and Saturday night going-out crowd.

  • Close By

    Fifth Avenue features hundreds of chic boutiques, perfect for a shopping binge before a world-class lunch or dinner at Monkey Bar.

Monkey Bar User Reviews

Average rating:
Drink here
Gor G. Jun 10, 2013
Let me start by suggesting a drink at their infamous bar. There were 8 of us and everyone enjoyed the "New York Vibe" at the bar. They have some crazy specialty drinks that were fine but I would suggest partaking in one of their fine wines by the glass or micro brewed beers. We were seated at a wonderful oval table for 8. The dinning room has a warm, comfortable feel to it. Our server was Yarrow and she was spectacular. We had some strong personalities in our group and she handled us perfectly. They have a nice wine list in which you can find pretty much anything you want. I can vouch for the chopped salad as a starter. It was very flavorful (and healthy!). As for mains, My wife and I split the beef sirloin, halibut and we also tasted some potato gnocchi. They all tasted very good and had a good presentation. Each were cooked properly as well. We also ordered the roasted mushrooms and french fries as sides. Again-Very good. I was worried about the food after reading some past reviews but our experience was excellent. We ordered some sort of salted chocolate cake/ice cream for dessert. It was just okay with the chocolate being way too salty. It can be pricey depending upon what you order and how you pick your wines. Overall, I'm glad we took our group here. If you live here or are just visiting and want an upscale New York restaurant experience-you need to dine at the Monkey Bar at least once.
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