BEST WHISKEY BAR

Dead Rabbit is one of those places that's been lavished with such bombastic praise, it somehow seems destined to disappoint when you finally acquaint yourself with it. It is just a bar, after all. Or is it? The three-story townhouse in the nether regions of the FiDi (of all places) is a multifaceted affair, offering some of the country's most inventive cocktails alongside the most expansive collection of Irish whiskey anywhere on the planet — including Ireland.

Start with the Taproom on the ground floor, an informal setting where craft beer, whiskey punch, and light bar fare dance in unison. One floor above, the Parlor is a province far more reserved, usually requiring patience to enter, always delivering ingredient-focused drinks specific to the season and to your preference: shaken or stirred. Although the mixed drinks are labor-intensive numbers, nothing costs more than $15. For a bespoke cocktail in Manhattan, that's called a bargain. The third level, separated only by a staircase, immediately exudes Dublinesque charm. Behind the bar, there's everything from $10 shots of Bushmills to $250 drams of one-of-a-kind pot still whiskeys aged for half a century. Having a superior reputation is one thing; owning it is the true triumph of Dead Rabbit. 

Ryan CrownVILLAGE VOICE