Pravda, New York City
A Russian themed, subterranean bar on Lafayette St.
Like most trendy places in New York, the discreet branding and KGB headquarters style entrance could be easily missed.
Iron curtain themeing continues with the mostly vodka based drinks. Less authentic are the $12 cocktail price tags.
Pravda is owned by the same people as the more French than France restaurants Balthazar & Pastis, and their construction team has gone to town creating what feels like a secretive Soviet members club. Definitely worth a visit at the start of any SoHo bar crawl.
Dress Code: Like Pastis, several episodes of Sex & The City have been filmed here, so expect clientele & dress code to suit.
Lafayette legend that's lost none of its classy sophistication despite the arrival of other hot spots in the area. Owned by Keith McNally who brought New York Balthazar, it's a two-floor subterranean space furnished in post-modern Soviet chic. Lamps that look like Russian street lights illuminate a curved cement ceiling, while diners and drinkers order caviar and cocktails from red banquettes or plush club armchairs. The whitewashed walls add brightness but the stainless steel toilets take us back to the good old USSR: chicken wire separates the stalls. Upstairs is more intimate for cosy chat, but you'll find an older, Sex and the City crowd are in both areas. (Tellingly, episodes of the series have been shot here too). Caviar apart, the extensive dinner menu includes Russian delicacies like Blinis or Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and their cocktail menu boasts over eight martinis. If martini?s not your thing though, try the Bakunin - a spectacular Stoli vodka, GrandMarnier and fresh orange and lemon juice mix that we bet you couldn't get back in the good old USSR.
Dress Code: Best best place for a cocktail in a relaxed atmosphere in New York. People are beautiful and fancy.
Pravda is very hip. It's managed to sustain a hipness with many different groups (even those decidedly un-hip, like me!). The food is always delicious, if a tad over-priced. The martinis and other drinks are always absolutely stunning. And the atmosphere is consistently electric and just fun. There is a tiny space upstairs with a bar, but the downstairs is the place to relax with a group. Get there early if you want your own space!
Dress Code: Dress up - or dress down in those $200 jeans. :) Actually, it's so dark in there that you can get away with just about anything. A line does form, however...
Visit the web site. It also has links to Pastis, and other fun places.
Feeling ultra sophisticated tonight? Time to descend the steps by the glowing red light to Pravda, the undergound bar where your Soviet accent comes out. The drinks are top notch, with ten dollar bill prices to match. They infuse their own vodka which is absolutely sublime. Try the Walnut Martini or the Gin Fizz. Need to cool off from a hot summer day? Go with the Leninade.
Dress Code: Flowy tops, tight jeans, and stilettos are usually in order.
If you want to sint in one of New York's nicest bars, feel hip and meet the friendliest people who are not afraid to talk, this is the place for you. Jake is the friendliest bar man in the world and he also makes the best cocktails this side of manhattan! Stunningly beautiful people.
Dress Code: No Trainers. Smart clothing and an "important look"