Best stiff cocktail (2008)
It's a sad fact in this town that crap bartenders outnumber good ones three to one, easy. They'll mix you a margarita using sour mix without batting an eye, or most heinous of all, serve you your straight-up drink lukewarm, after a halfhearted swish with ice. Not so at Keith McNally's new L.E.S. bistro, SCHILLER'S LIQUOR BAR, where the bartenders mean business. Juices are fresh, proportions consistent, and contents shaken till cold and foamy. The mundane act of waiting for a table is transformed into an infinitely pleasurable experience with a slightly antiquated cocktail like the New York Sour, basically a whiskey sour topped with red wine, in hand.