The likelihood of working a hotel bar into regular rotation spiked with the opening of Vol. 39. Attached to the seriously stunning new Kimpton Gray Hotel, the library-esque space is dark and dignified (navy walls, floor-to-ceiling law volumes, signature Georgia Gray marble, brass fixtures) with a menu to match. Conceived by head bartender Jess Lambert with Kimpton’s director of bars, Mike Ryan (Sable is their common ground), the expertly made drinks range from old to new—including a half-dozen takes each on the Old Fashioned and the Martini—served in period glassware. Caviar trolley optional.
THE DRINK TO DRINK: This place quietly whispers, “Go big or go home.” Translation: The Vol. 39 Vintage Old Fashioned, made with 30-year vintage Armagnac, barrel-aged demerara sugar, and Angostura and orange bitters poured over hand-carved ice ($35).
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Though the hotel’s formal entrance is on Monroe Street, Vol. 39 has its own grand marble staircase around the corner on LaSalle. Ascend slowly to set the mood.