“TOO MUCH WORK, AND NO VACATION, DESERVES AT LEAST A SMALL LIBATION. SO HAIL! MY FRIENDS, AND RAISE YOUR GLASSES, WORK’S THE CURSE OF THE DRINKING CLASSES.”
— OSCAR WILDE
Known for having one of the longest and continuous bars in New York City at 118.5 feet, while offering over 300 whiskeys and 32 beers on tap, Oscar Wilde is not a place to be missed. If this fact alone does not bump it up on your list of destinations to visit when in New York City, let the Victorian theme of the bar draw you into another world. A world that feels not only exclusive but also legendary.
Named after the famous Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, the bar is co-owned by Tommy Burke and Frank McCole, owners of Lillie’s Victorian Establishment, Papillon Bistro & Bar and Ashby’s. Coming from County Mayo, and County Monaghan in Ireland, the masterminds behind Oscar Wilde grew up reading the playwright’s work. The restaurant is their way of paying tribute to the acclaimed, and eccentric author.
Oscar Wilde is located at 45 West 27th street in Manhattan, in the same building used in the past as the headquarters for the New York City’s Bureau of Prohibition. The Prohibition Era concept is both felt and seen with each step through the bar. The head mixologist, Johnny Swet, has crafted a cocktail list which was also inspired by the Victorian and Prohibition eras. One of our favorite drinks from the cocktail list is the “Oscar Wilde’s Potent Elixir”: a perfect mixture of cognac, gin, Guinness, cassis, lavender, Champagne, and orange zest. If hunger strikes while enjoying your drink, Oscar Wilde also offers a contemporary set of lunch and dinner menus, while keeping farm-to-table ingredients in mind. The Oscar Wilde Burger, made with imported Irish Beef and topped with crisp house-made pickled and chili aioli is a must-have. Lighter dishes are also offered, such as the Cured Salmon with fried capers, crème fraiche, jalapeno, and salted cabbage slaw.
The extravagant and lavish décor of Oscar Wilde is composed of furniture and artifacts carefully hand-picked from across the world. The piano is a 1980’s original imported from Belgium. The painted glass originates from Milan and dates to the 19th century. The standing clock is an authentic piece dating to the 1880’s and imported from England. The other furniture was imported from Mexico, Vietnam and many more places. The eclecticism of the items all blend together to pay true homage to the periods Oscar Wilde represents.
Oscar Wilde was known to enjoy himself a good drink, and an “alcoholiday.” When visiting New York City, make sure Oscar Wilde is one destination that is on top of your list. Its extensive list of whiskeys and cocktails, as well as the striking décor, make this one of our favorite places in New York City. One that the famed author himself would probably have approved of with flying colors. – GM