There’s lots of bars in New York City and its nightlife give you a wide range to choose from the bustling, hole-in-the-wall to the really nice, upscale lounges that may reside in hotels. A relative newcomer from the Suzuki Hospitality Group (the group that owns the 1* Michelin sushi and seasonal kaiseki restaurant called Suzuki and a sushi bar counter seating restaurant, Satsuki) has Three Pillars Bar.
This upscale yet cozy lounge is found across the hall from Suzuki restaurant. When you enter through the doorway, you’d see the short foyer filled with crystals dropping from the ceiling making it feel quite glamorous. This bar/lounge seats about eight to ten people and this is a great place for a date or friend to have a quiet, relaxed place to have a few excellent drinks and food without needing to shout or talk out loud.
The bar is headed by Armando. He’s a mild mannered bartender who understands what each patron would like to drink if she describes what she likes what types to drink. I told him I really like an Old Fashioned and do like my brown spirits (whiskey, whisky, brandy, and an occasional rum) over white spirits. He made his personal favorite drink from the cocktail menu, Old Rivalries. It’s a double smoked Old Fashioned but made with XO Syrup, Angostura bitters and a choice of three Japanese whiskies (Toki, Nikka, and Hibiki). I’ve opted the Hibiki and let him create this beautiful drink starting from burning a piece of a cask barrel with a blowtorch to create the first smoke, mixing the drink itself and finishing the drink with the last smoke from a smoking gun. The concoction is amazing — citrus-forward, honeyed and yes, there’s smoke but it’s not overwhelming.
A preview of a cocktail that will be added on the menu is inspired by the guava fruit except there is no guava added. It’s based on the Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch mixed with fresh ginger, shiso, passion fruit juice, shaken with egg white and topped with fresh raspberries. It blew my mind that it tasted like guava with a tiny bit of bite from the spicy ginger and Scotch. It’s a great drink.
The next cocktail is a fruity mixture of Casamigos Mezcal, Hennessy VSOP, oregat syrup, and fresh pineapple juice. It’s a take on the Mai Tai but a little bit smokier from the mezcal but it’s still very easy to drink. And that is a very dangerous thing.
Another great cocktail he created for my friend off-menu was another smoked cocktail made with Casamilagros mezcal, honey water, chocolate bitters, Angostura bitters, mixed with egg white. It’s a smooth, not too creamy drink that is slightly sweet and smoky like the mezcal. It’s wonderful.
On the food front, it’s no doubt a delicious affair since it comes from the kitchens of Suzuki and Satsuki. We started off fried shisto peppers and two versions of sesame tofu. The shisto peppers were nicely fried and vegetally sweet. The sesame tofu was incredible. Both tofu dishes were silky and creamy but one was slightly sweeter (sesame miso) than briny funk (tofu with uni and wasabi soy sauce).
The seasonal tempura selection with jumbo shrimp was delectable. Crispy with delicate, lacy breading of the various slices of root vegetables and chunks of seafood. The best pieces were the sweet, meaty shrimp. The fried shiso leaf was a good refresher for the palate.
For something decadent, the Miyazaki A5 rank wagyu beef is what beefy dreams are made of. My friend who dined with me stopped talking mid-sentence and probably had a foodgasm when he ate a small chunk of that luscious beef. The beef was seared nicely and cooked to a medium-rare that it had both unmelted and melted beef fat to have the different textures on the palate.
For the sushi/sashimi aspect of their food menu, it was excellent. The tuna tasting of bluefin tuna was delicious. We had five pieces of both akami (lean) and toro (fatty) each and it’s super fresh. The akami had a minerally flavor truer to the fish while the toro added the lusciousness to the fish.
The eel avocado roll was very well made. The rice was warm and perfect in texture (not too wet and not dry) and a good ratio of the sweet, slightly fishy (in a delicious way) eel and creamy avocado.
If you prefer your fish cooked, we had whole fried flatfish that’s served with a few fried shisto peppers. The flatfish was expertly fried like the tempura dish that the thin fried coating just covered enough of the fish to provide a gentle crispness and the fish was very moist and perfectly seasoned.
Overall, we had a fantastic time here. The jazz music is good and it’s not too loud. The bartender, Armando is excellent making drinks and more than happy to expand your mind with different spirits if you’d like and very patient. The wait staff is great and doesn’t rush you at all. I will certainly come back here and am very curious to check out the other restaurants of this restaurant group after trying the bar food menu.
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Three Pillars Bar Lounge
114 W 47th St
(between 6th & 7th Ave)
New York, NY 10036