Homes for the Holidays

Bars to hibernate in when the weather dips

In hipper quarters across town, the Back Room(102 Norfolk, 212-228-5098), a new bar that aims for "speakeasy" but doesn't hit the mark, served three different brandies on a recent chilly night: Imoya, E&J, and Hardy, all V.S.O.P.'s ($8 a glass). The Imoya is especially tasty, throat-searing and sweet at first, then blooming with a black-pepper kick. But all three are served in BR's signature teeny teacups on tiny saucers, which is as cardinal a sin as throwing ice cubes in a Guinness.

Move down the block to Schiller's Liquor Bar (131 Rivington, 212-260-4555), where, happily, leather armchairs aren't part of the design scheme. The pear-inflected Poire Williams ($9), served cold, only gets better as the drink warms to room temperature, while the Bushnell Calvados ($10) has an underlying apple-pepper hybrid taste. Bonus: Schiller's offers brasserie-style french fries, which may seem like a "don't" when you're savoring brandy, but really, fries are always a "do." WEINSTEIN


Party All the Time A couple of New Year's Eve bashes

From high-end boutique parties to sleazy downtown bashes, you can spend a million or nothing at all on New Year's Eve. Chelsea boys can dance to house music for a full day at Crobar's (530 W 28th, 212-629-9000) 24-hour New Year's Eve bash. Resident DJ Boris spins from 9 p.m. till 8 in the morning, then Victor Calderone takes over until 6 p.m. It's not really 24 hours, but after 21 hours of partying, who's keeping track? $125 if purchased before December 25, $150 after; includes open bar from 8:30 p.m. to midnight, with a bottle of champagne.

The folks at Cielo (18 Little W 12th, 212-645-5700) are celebrating for another reason: The club opened on New Year's Eve four years ago. Resident deep-house DJ Willie Graff guides you into the New Year with a special guest still TBD. $50 in advance, $75 at the door.

Feel like a celebrity and celebrate the New Year where the stars like to go, at Marquee (289 Tenth Ave, 212-255-4223). Jus Ske spins dance and house in the main room, where you can get a V.I.P. table for a mere $300 per person, which comes with two bottles, mixers, and hors d'oeuvres. Plus, they don't kick you out for the after-party. If you plan on dancing—not sitting—all night, $175 gets you in. Show up fashionably late (after 2 a.m.) and $35 grants you entrée.

You can leave the fancy stuff to the real celebrities and get gritty at Lit (93 Second Ave, 212-777-7987). Last year's down-and-dirty party featured Leo Fitzpatrick (of Kids fame), Fannypack's Fancy and Kat, and Fischerspooner's Lizzy Yoder, among others. This year expect a similar vibe; dance to electro, hip-hop, booty base and rock into the wee hours. ROMANO

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