Pastis Takes Top Honors in Zagat’s Nightlife Guide

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Zagat’s 2008–2009 nightlife guide is out, and in his opening letter, editor Curt Gathje sums up the trends of the last year: No less than 22 wine bars opened; the “faux speakeasy” category saw nine newcomers; there were five new arrivals on the Bowery; the meatpacking district is becoming passé; roof decks became more elaborate; clubs like Socialista and Rose Bar replaced Bungalow 8 as the hardest to penetrate; and there was an uptick in midsize, popularly-priced music venues. Of course, we’ve been following these trends for a while now, so the real question is this: Who won the guide’s yearly popularity contest?

Pastis got top ratings, followed by Buddha Bar, Balthazar, Spice Market, and Blue Water Grill. Among those that are strictly bars, the winners were Hudson Hotel, then 230 Fifth, Divine Bar, and Campbell Apartment.
• The ladies’ choice was Stanton Social; guys gave Brother Jimmy’s top honors.
• Top after-work uptown spot: Bemelmans
• After-work midtown spot: King Cole Bar
• After-work downtown spot: Church Lounge
• Cocktail experts: Milk & Honey
• Dive: Jimmy’s Corner
• Frat house: Half Pint
• Gay: Therapy
• Hookahs: Le Souk
• Meat market: Touch
• Newcomer: PDT
• Punk bar: Manitoba’s
• Rooftop: Rise
• Wine bar: Stonehome
• Top décor: Megu
• Outdoors: Central Park Boathouse
• Romance: Allen & Delancey
• Service: Daniel