By Terry Trucco
Yellow water? Showers without curtains? Guest room bathrooms with side-by-side toilets? Early reports on hotel accommodations in Sochi sound downright scary.
But New York isn’t a mountain resort constructed from scratch for winter sports’ alternate-leap-year show of shows. Hotels here are places you actually want to visit if you like watching big sports events with a crowd and a rapidly refilled glass.
Unlike the Super Bowl, where it was hard to find a New York hotel that wasn’t throwing a party or cooking up special drinks, the 2014 Winter Olympics have fired up fewer properties. But these hotels are going for the gold.
The silky Two-e Lounge at The Pierre offers TV viewing of the opening and closing ceremonies as well as big-ticket events between February 7 and 23rd. But the main attraction is the Winter Games Cocktail Festival Menu of five specialty cocktails, each named for an event and color-coded to an Olympic ring. Color is rarely the first thing a mixologist considers, observes Sachin Hasan, the bar’s manager and master mixer. “It wasn’t easy.” But as you can see from the picture, he and his team succeeded.
Since it’s winter, the menu offers a mix of hot and chilled drinks. The sinfully sweet Triple Salchow heats up vodka, Limoncello, lemon curd, white chocolate and orange juice with steamed milk and spiced chai tea. Yellow ring? Check. The complex Luge is an iced combination of Garam Masala-infused gin, felarnum, simple syrup, champagne and, saluting the blue ring, Blue Curacao. And Speed Skater is a souped up hot toddy – vodka, black current clove syrup, lemon juice and hot water. “Cloves are medicinal,” says Hasan. Order that one if you’re nursing a cold – or recovering from a wipe-out at Central Park’s Wohlman Rink across the street.
Bonus: namesake cocktails are 50 percent off when their events are televised. So show up for the Women’s Figure Skating short program and the Triple Salchow is yours for $8.
Two-e Bar and Lounge, The Pierre, Fifth Avenue and 61st Street; 212 838-8000.
Humphrey, the sprawling restaurant and bar at Eventi on the outskirts of the Garment District, boasts an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. And what do you see when you gaze out? A terrace where, on warmer days, you can sit and eat. And a 35-foot-wide TV screen, where the Winter Olympics will unfold. It’s (almost) the next-best thing to being on the mountain, luge course or ice. Watch Jamie Anderson rock her snowboard or Denis Ten blaze the ice over a burger (black angus beef or turkey) or spaghetti with lemon and pepper – comfort food, in other words. A full selection of cocktails, wines, beers and even hard cider are offered.
Humphrey, Eventi, 851 Avenue of the Americas (aka Sixth Avenue) at 30th Street; 212 564-4567.
Fitz’s bar and restaurant at the Fitzapatrick Manhattan has the look of an Irish country house but the soul of a sports bar. (They pulled out the stops for Super Bowl and draw crowd for soccer.) Small surprise the bar’s flatscreen TVs will feature wall-to-wall Olympic events, washed down with a menu of specialty cocktails and voluminous wine and beer. Through February 23rd the restaurant also features an Olympic breakfast of the day. That meant Russian pancakes — thin blinzes with honey and lemon — for Day One’s opening ceremony. An Alpine Breakfast is just one of the upcoming offerings.
Fitz’s Restaurant and Bar, The Fitzpatrick Manhattan, 687 Lexington between 56th and 57th streets; 212 355-0100.