A justly beloved Maxfield Parrish mural of "Old King Cole" himself, as well as his psychedelic court, adds to the already considerable elegance at this romantic and essential Midtown meeting place. Try a Bloody Mary—this is where the drink was introduced to Americans. Be warned: prices for a single cocktail are steep.
Aug 10, 2011
We popped into the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis (Starwood property) prior to a lunch reservation nearby in mid-January 2011. The bar doesn’t open until 11:30 “on the dot”, and because we were a few minutes early, we walked around the hotel to investigate. It seems to be a smaller property with more personalized service than the huge Waldorf-Astoria where we stayed on our trip. Their signature restaurant Adour by Alain Ducasse is somewhere
that we would like to try in the future; the surrounding were elegant and the menu sounded intriguing. We also saw the Astor Court, the renowned area for afternoon tea, and the Remede Spa. In the King Cole Bar, we enjoyed looking at the Maxfield Parrish mural of Old King Cole, and we tried their famous Red Snappers (Bloody Marys). At a total of over $50 for two drinks, including tip, they weren’t anything to rave about - rather small and basically unadorned. However, the complimentary bar snacks, including spiced mixed nuts (with plenty of Brazil nuts, my favorite), upscale pretzel bites, and spicy wasabi peas, were a step above the usual offerings. Our bartender Gavin was most pleasant and knowledgeable about the city’s restaurant scene. I’m told that you can coax your bartender to tell you the secret of the painting (why King Cole is smiling), but I found out myself online prior to our visit. I’m glad that I can say that I visited this famous watering hole and imbibed in one of its famous drinks, but it was a bit pricey and need not be on anyone’s must-see list.