If you are looking for something cozy and joyous to add to your wanderings in NYC, these two spots really add a charm and warmth to the night. Add jazz to that for the ultimate in relaxation.
The Campbell Apartment
This place has been a New York City institution since its days as Jazz Age financier John William Campbell’s private office and reception hall. It’s amazing that this private, and extraordinary spot has survived, and been meticulously restored, maintaining and freshening the integrity of the historic architecture. If you are traveling through Grand Central this holiday season, it’s always worth a stop, whether you grab a cocktail standing at the bar, or choose to reserve a table.
One more reason to pop in is their Sunday night Jazz program. On the night I went, we were treated to the cool sounds of Acute Inflections, a sultry and attractive duet. Vocalist Elasea Douglas had a lilting voice and warm personality, who came personally to each table to elicit requests, and is accompanied by the low-key and ultra-cool, bassist, Sadiki Pierre. (seen in the photo at the top of this post)
The Campbell Apartment offers two punches, served in a copper pineapple, meant to serve two (but that’s up to you!) AUGUSTUS has light and dark rums, green chartreuse, velvet falernum + vevue clicquot champagne. The PAIN KILLER is made with dark rum, pineapple, orange, coconut + nutmeg. Right, I loved my seat on the velvet banquette.
The Campbell’s thirteenth century Florentine-inspired design details: the 25-foot hand painted ceilings. Right, a snack of mixed olives accompanied wine.
Acute Inflections play for a packed crowd, so be sure to make a reservation. Right, a trio of mini tuna tartare tacos with smoked chipotle mayonnaise. Light and refreshing.
Behind the bar the breathtaking century-old leaded glass window. Right, the banquette which gives a wonderful view of the band.
Some other selections of the elevated bar fare on the menu: charcuterie and country pâté, meatball sliders, and grilled cheese bites.
The Campbell Apartment, 15 Vanderbilt Ave (betw 42nd/43rd St), tucked into the southwest corner of Grand Central Terminal. The Campbell encompasses three different experiences: The Campbell Bar (seen here); The Campbell Palm Court, an indoor lounge surrounded by towering palm trees with a view of the main terminal; and in season, The Campbell Terrace, an outdoor covered veranda.
Fine and Rare
After our taste of jazz at the Campbell, I wanted a little bit more. That being established, we headed a few blocks south of Grand Central to Fine and Rare. (see our previous post on this glamorous spot) Here the mood continued, almost like we went back in time, and stayed there. On stage, the seductive voice of Susan Tobocman was accompanied by guitarist Ethan Mann.
I’ve ordered this cocktail on a previous visit, The Ideal Husband #3: Strawberry-infused Cazadores Blanco, lemon, orange curacao, agave, rhubarb bitters, prosecco. I don’t know how this compares to a husband, but it is right up my alley when it comes to cocktails, fruity, light, and bubbly. Right, the wood floors are a century old, and come from an old mill in Connecticut, inscribed with family names and investors.
To see who’s performing, check out their calendar, which is jam-packed with shows, no cover. So you can just pop in and go whenever the mood strikes.
Fine and Rare, 9 E 37th St (betw 5th/Madison Ave)