(though I went for the bourbon!)
The Brandy Library--oh, you'd thought I'd forgotten, is one of the most beautiful bars I've been to. However since I am a writer and it looks like a library (though who doesn't want to cozy up and have a rare bourbon every now and again?) I was quite impressed. The service is amazing. I was lost as soon as I got out of the subway and immediately someone from the bar got on Jonathan's cell phone to help me out. They were patient while I was crossing streets and telling them what I was standing in front of. They recognized me as the "lost girl" as soon as I opened the door, took my coat and brought me to my table without making me feel embarassed.
The shelves have moving ladders and the servers climb up to grab your rare brown liquor and pour at your table--almost like wine service. The menu is a zillion pages long and so you can get quite immersed in reading---it's a place that I would keep coming back to just to try new things. I asked my server to recommend a bourbon based on my favorites, Woodford Reserve and Basil Hayden's. She came up with Eagle Reserve! And paired with the eclairs, I was in heaven---bourbon and dessert, not an easy combo.
A bartender must do her research you know. I know, even here, it's quite academic. I mean, anyone can pour a rum and coke, but to know all the proper glassware (I'm still working on that one), and all the nuances of the various types of liquors and cocktails, that's a lifetime of learning my friends. And I take my work seriously :)
As we were leaving, we were presented with a long, small box and was told it was for our breakfast. In the cab, we found out we were holding on to a box of biscotti in a blue engraved box! It was thoughtful without being overdone.
It fit all of my bar qualifications, classy (I don't want to be around annoying drunks or even well dressed ones either), solid selections, somewhere I could sit down and have a conversation and listen to great jazz in the background. I hate to say it, but I think it's my new favorite bar in the city.