A man in a suit walks up to the bar. He orders a Beefeater martini with a splash of Carlos 1 brandy. No olives. Up. “Excellent choice, sir.” A woman in a suit walks up to the bar. “Give me the burger, side of mayo, please. Champagne.” “Bottle or glass?” asks the bartender. “Bottle. I’m celebrating. Alone.” The man loosens his tie. The woman lets her clipped hair down. The man and the woman do not speak to one another. They do not have to. Like so many sitting at the long bar that serves as the centerpiece of this swanky dining room, so full and bounteous is their confidence that these bright-faced professionals hardly need to entertain the idea of making more friends. But a second martini is ordered, and the bottle of champagne is slowly drained. The woman tells the man about her favorite Cecily Brown painting, and the man admits he’s late for rehearsal with his improv theater company. The bartender nods goodbye as they each go their separate ways: “We’ll have that bottle of champagne waiting for you on ice next time, ma’am.”
Once super-upscale, 23Hoyt has lowered its prices to upscale (“These economic times, etc.”) but haven’t skimped on flavor. No item on the happy menu costs more than $5, be it a chicken salad sandwich, tempura mushrooms, or a pineapple daiquiri. It runs every weekday from 5 to 7, and lasts from 5 to 6:30 on weekends.
23Hoyt was featured in our Best Bars 2010 cover story.