Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits — 08 November 2013
Flute East Side- Midtown East: Drink Here Now

Our correspondent vowed to have a drink at every single bar in Hoboken and did so successfully with Spirits in the Sixth Borough.” Every Friday morning, we’ll pick up where he left off, showing you distinctive bars in each New York City borough perhaps for the very first time, perhaps to refresh your memory of a fun place you’ve ducked into, or perhaps to suggest a new spot for you to check out as you gear up for the weekend. You can follow our sudsy travels every week with’s “Drink Here Now.”

Flute East Side
303 East 53rd Street at Second Avenue, Midtown East
Getting There: 6 to 51st Street; E,M to Lexington Avenue- 53rd Street

There are scant few spots around New York City wherein an everyman can taste a bit of the good life. With the third Manhattan outpost under the Flute umbrella, the champagne bar is striving for exactly that- the luxury of bubbly suitable for everything from that special occasion, a celebration, or the enjoyment of a different style during a regular night out. Be not afraid of the burly bouncer that stands outside of Flute’s doors, his presence only adds to the ambiance of the place’s exclusivity. Flute East Side is one of the City’s most recent openings and I made sure to stop in on a recent Saturday night as the bar was celebrating its recent opening with a ‘Dark Moon’ Masquerade Party.

Once past the velvet rope outside, the long narrow bar leads to a small semi-private back area that’s decorated with class and surrounded by exposed brick walls. Adorned with comfortably plush couches amid a black and purple setting, the room’s diminutive size allows it to maintain an aura of chic. The bar meanwhile is truly a sight. Illuminated in light red, the bar top is eye catching in front of rows upon rows of bottled wines and liquors, where bartenders are perpetually popping new bottles open seemingly every minute.

Now just because this is a champagne bar for everyone, doesn’t necessarily make it an outright affordable lounge to visit. By the flute, glasses range from $11 to a whopping $55, but most are in the $15 vicinity and offer a variety of sparkling options. There are also a variety of sparkling inspired cocktails on the menu as well as some beer and wines. But the value lies in their tasting flights where for about $30, you can taste three distinctive styles of Champagnes. So put up your pinky, toast one of your buds, and throw your head back in style. After all, at Flute it always feels like you’ve earned it.

The Rundown

Bar Type - A Champagne inspired bar or lounge

When to Visit – Visit either late night or right after work hours. Flute is an excellent spot for your first or last drink of the night.

Value - There are wines and flutes here for around $10 or $11 which is pricier than beers in most spots, but less than cocktails. Just know you aren’t getting flutes for $3 here, so keep your expectations reasonable.

The Lowdown – Flute doesn’t pretend to be anything that it isn’t. Evidenced by the track record of its first two New York City locations, the team certainly has found a formula for success. On a night when the local dive bar doesn’t cut it and you’re looking to class things up a bit, look no further than Flute’s new Midtown East location. Just make sure to tell the bouncer that sent you. And he’ll let you right inside.

-Alex Corrine

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