Go off-the-grid and explore the Big Apple's coolest nightlife and dining hotspots. Here are our top recommendations for your bucket list
There’s a reason why New York’s the city that never sleeps. From world-famous stage productions and trendy nightclubs, to fabled jazz bars and comedy clubs, you won’t have to look too far for an excuse to hang out after hours. It’s also where you’ll find ‘secret’ locales hidden in back alleys, gritty warehouses and dingy basements – but hey, nothing ups the hip factor like being in-the-know about exclusive supper clubs, pop-up parties and Prohibition era-inspired bars, all housed within these offbeat venues.
If you’ve busted your vacation budget for the year, you could still score an all-expense paid trip to the Big Apple. All you have to do is charge S$500 to your DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card (every S$500 spend entitles you to one chance; multiply your chances by 10 when you spend S$5,000 or more from now till 30 Nov). Three lucky pairs of winners will win a seven-day, six-night holiday in New York, courtesy of FYI and DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card. On top of jetting off on a cushy Singapore Airlines flight and living it up in a five-star hotel, you’ll be treated to a night out at one of the city’s best underground supper clubs.
Want to experience New York like a real insider? Let us show you the way!
Imagine this: behind the innocuous facade of a nondescript diner belies an entrance to the hottest bar in New York. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? This is the premise of PDT (Please Don’t Tell), a cocktail gem located within Crif Dogs (113 St Marks Pl), a casual hot dog joint in East Village. Here, you’ll enter through a vintage phone box and into a small, speakeasy-inspired bar run by award-winning bartender Jim Meehan, and general manager Jeff Bell. Skip the usual G&T (yawn), as PDT is known for its daring–and often trend-setting–cocktails.
Over at the Lower East Side, menus are non-existent at Attaboy (134 Eldridge St), an unassuming watering hole that’s ranked no. 5 on the World’s Best Bars 2016 list. Instead, you can either order your preferred drink or opt for a Dealer’s Choice – simply tell the bartender what spirit you like and the flavour you want, and watch them shake up something completely unique. Look out for an unmarked steel door on the side along Eldridge Street, and press the buzzer for entry.
Traditionalists, make a stop at The Back Room (102 Norfolk St), one of two NYC speakeasies that operated during the Prohibition period in the ‘20s and ‘30s. To get there, you’ll have to walk through a gate along Norfolk street and behind Essex Street Station, down an alleyway and up a flight of stairs. Hidden behind a bookcase is its VIP-only lounge, which has hosted its well-known (albeit infamous) patrons including gangsters and movie actors of the era. Kick back like Al Capone with a cocktail served in a teacup, and luxuriate in the extravagant Art Deco surrounds – you know you want to.
Secret raves and hush-hush parties are aplenty, if you know where to look. After all, the city’s vibrant party scene has spawned a whole parade of eccentric nightlife personalities. But you don’t have to be a true blue New Yorker (or club kid) to be clued in on the latest happenings in town. Our tip? Try sussing out these events on Resident Advisor, which covers the week’s highlights. On our hit list is Goonroom, a roving party that spins vinyl tunes covering broad and obscure genres. The brainchild of Brooklyn-based writers and DJs David Garber and Harrison Williams, this is where discerning music lovers revel.
Another party series to have on your radar is HOMAGE, a Brooklyn-based independent record label by House of Yes DJs Ryan Clover and Fabi Jugo – the irrepressible duo throws out nu-disco and vintage house music, all imbuing the city’s colourful rave culture. Follow their Facebook page, and keep tabs on pop-ups that’ll take you to bars, clubs, hotels and even cabaret venues around New York.
Secret supper clubs
For those who prefer a dash of mystery preceding their meals, joining a supper club will whet your appetite for intrigue, where you’ll be dining with fellow foodies at an intimate dinner party. Spontaneity is essential, as details are usually revealed only a few weeks or several hours before the event. Regular visitors to the Big Apple may consider signing up for a membership at SubCulture Dining, an “underground” community by chef and TV host Russell Jackson – members can try for a seat at one of its top-secret dinners, with updates sent to the lucky selected few hours prior to the event.
Wednesday’s is a monthly dinner series held at an airy artist’s loft in Chelsea and around the city. It’s all about communal dining here, as you’ll be sharing a large wooden table with other guests. If you’re thinking about skipping the dinner chatter; think again. While diners will be served with seven courses paired with a four-course cocktail flight, you are encouraged to partake in casual chit chat. The good news? At least there’s liquid courage available throughout the night. For more information on tickets, sign up here.
Before you sign up for one of these supper club experiences, don’t forget that DBS is offering an exciting night out at an exclusive dining community in New York. This private event will be held exclusively for winners of the lucky draw – complete with a two-way limousine transfer and a curated menu that blends both food and art. To participate in the contest, register here.
This article is sponsored by DBS Bank