Belmondo at Ludlow Hotel Lounge
Walking into the Lower East Side’s Ludlow Hotel, the lights are dim with a roaring fire warming the rustic, yet refined Lobby Bar Lounge on this cool spring night. The atmosphere is easygoing with a design aesthetic that feels slightly old-fashioned under the exposed wooden beams. An abstract painting of a James Dean-like character with his cigarette dangling from his mouth is hanging over the fireplace reminding us of days past, in which a hip hotel bar like this would be filled with the thick smoke from cigarettes.
As I make my way to the bar, I meander through a cozy maze of comfortable leather couches, snakeskin-covered stools, cow-hide chairs, and marble tables with flickering candles. It’s just the kind of place where it would be natural to throw back a bourbon or a finely aged whisky, but tonight it feels right to reject the traditional urge in favor of cocktail experimentation.
One particular cocktail has my attention, the Belmondo, which is a reference to the French actor of the same name who embodied the antiheroic spirit of French New Wave films of the 1960s. The Belmondo is an intricate concoction blending Blanco tequila, pear eau de vie (French for “water of life”), ginger, gentian, and fresh lemon juice. The result is a refreshing, velvety, adult elixir that enhances the ambiance of the lounge and begs for another round of the same. For those staying at the hotel, gently grab your next round of Belmondo’s or try a Pigalle and head to the rooftop terrace for some of the best views in Manhattan.
Men, if you need inspiration for your man cave, look no further than the Lobby Bar Lounge at the Ludlow Hotel. The lounge may not have large screens for watching sports, but with potential gliterati in attendance, your eyes will be occupied with more than scores.