No. 2: Plat 99
At this second-story beauty of a lounge inside The Alexander hotel, low, deep-cushioned sofas arranged under a canopy of jewel-toned pendant lamps make the room feel like a futuristic Moroccan bazaar. Even without the menu of traditional and fanciful drinks described by era and origin, from the absinthe-tinged Sazerac of 1838 to the tangy sloe gin fizz of 1888 to bar manager William Mohring’s own Genesis (gin, rhum agricole, Cocchi Rosa, apricot liqueur, and bitters)—Plat 99 has an intoxicating charm. It’s one of the best spots in town to people-watch, glancing over your dirty martini to spy on businessmen checking in at the host stand just beyond the bar’s glass-box walls. And the outdoor patio, with sleek molded furniture, firepits, and urban views, offers one of the city’s most fashionable settings for al fresco drinking.
The menu changes seasonally, and Mohring and his crew have started experimenting with molecular components. Entering the brave new world of epicurean cocktails, the bar is pouring drinks over dry ice to enhance the liquor’s effervescence and chill point (and create a mind-blowing smoke effect, of course). They’re serving drinks alongside capped vessels of cold-smoked spirits and incorporating that darling of over-the-top modern cuisine: foam. It’s as if they’re taking a cue from The Alexander itself, where the lobbies and hallways are decorated in works worthy of a museum. Here, cocktail-making (and -drinking) is elevated to an art. 333 S. Delaware St., 624-8200