We're going to be doing a lot of posting about holiday drinking over the coming weeks to get you through all that cheer. We're kicking things off with hotel bars. Here's where we recommend imbibing this season:
Big 4 Restaurant
With lawyer-green club chairs, lead-glass mirrors, dark wood paneling, a fireplace, and a nightly piano player (this part is key), the Huntington Hotel’s restaurant and bar has that weighty but casual feel of old money—a place where real men are made. But of course it does: The place is named after the major railroad tycoons.
1075 California St., 415-771-1140, big4restaurant.com
Harry Denton’s Starlight Room
The sweet spot at this justly famous 21st-floor bar and club at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel happens between opening at 6 p.m. and when they start charging admission for the entertainment at around 8:30. Watch the sun set over the bay and get a cocktail made better here than at any of the other city bars that come with this kind of view.
450 Powell St., 415-395-8595, harrydenton.com
The Ritz-Carlton Bar
All luxe and cozy, the bar at the Ritz-Carlton is what you wish your therapist’s office looked like, if it served drinks: candles on tables, soft leather chairs, and a soothing, earthy color scheme. Get dressed up, find a date, and enjoy a gin-based antidepressant while snacking from the small plates menu.
600 Stockton St., 415-296-7465, ritzcarlton.com
For a high-low experience, Anzu at the Hotel Nikko delivers. Not only can you choose from their top-notch selection of sake and sake cocktails, but for happy hour, they also offer the “beer tube,” more than six pints of your choice of Anchor or Sapporo for $28. Do stop by, but don’t Google “beer tube.” We learned that the hard way.
222 Mason St., 415-394-1100, restaurantanzu.com