On a recent small tour of fancy schmancy midtown hotel cocktail bars, Shaun and I watched two unbelievable assholes get expelled from the St. Regis before heading down to the mellow confines of The Algonquin. We enjoyed an expertly made old fashioned (me) and a Millionaire (Shaun) in the hotel lobby; a grand, if not a bit ragged around the edges spot–I say “ragged” not like that ancient tattered chair from Nonnie Dot that sits in my apartment, but more like the ancient, “worn” high back chair that might sit in the apartment of the Glass family.
It's more laid back than other nearby spots and, I have to admit, it's a little odd to be splurging so fancily with a family of five all dressed in basketball shorts within viewing range. Still, it boasts lots of old New York hotel charm from its flowered carpet, to its dark wood and massive crown molding and high price drinks (we're talking $18–to put it into perspective: one truffle shuffle tee).
There are other rooms: The Blue Bar for drinks and “pub fair”, the Oak Room for cabaret, and the famous Round Room (where Dorothy Parker and her vicious circle met) for dining. But I prefer the lobby for one very special reason: Matilda! The adorable lilac point long hair greets you as you walk in from her throne. A resident cat has been a tradition of the hotel since 1930 when a stray wandered in and stole the heart of the owner, Frank Case. That cat was a male named Hamlet, and all subsequent males are named Hamlet while girl kitties are Matildas.