Bar Tab: Attaboy, New York City

There are many places to while away an autumnal Sunday evening on the Lower East Side, but if you want low-key Halloween vibes courtesy of flickering tealights and tree boughs dancing outside a grilled window with drinks mixed to your mood, Attaboy is  the only choice. Holding up (and arguably exceeding) the storied site once home to the iconic original Milk & Honey, Attaboy has ridden out many storms in its nine-year history (as the recent gleeful destruction of its kerb-side COVID-compliant drinking shed will attest) and made one hell of a mark on the 50 Best Bars list (from 42 in its debut year to 4th at the height of its powers it’s been ever present). The secret of its success is simple. You knock on the door; you may have to wait, or leave, and then come back again; you’re seated by a host and then you tell the bar staff, or simply describe, what you want. They’ll listen to anything from: “I don’t drink much alcohol but I can’t resist a cocktail” through the delicate dance around asking for a Penicillin without asking for a Penicillin to “can I have something citrus forward and stirred” – err no, maybe not that last one. The door may have become more stickered – it’s no longer just AB, but there’s no need to pore over a mammoth menu by the light of your phone, no need to surreptitiously search obscure ingredient names. Just place yourself in the hands of one of the most decorated bar crews around. Seasonality will still play a key role – there was a tendency to lean heavily on passion fruit on one recent October visit – but you will get what you ask for. And while the world falls apart outside, isn’t that really all any of us want? (134 Eldridge St, NYC. @Attaboy134). Read more Bar Tabs here.