Best Manhattan

City Paper

1117 W. 36th St., (410) 889-1064,

You may not think of a wine bar as the best place for a cocktail—we thought the same thing—but you’d be making a big mistake if you didn’t explore 13.5%’s bar program outside of the vino. On a recent Sunday night, looking to grab a pre-dinner drink, we ambled back to the orange-lit bar and noticed an extensive whiskey selection. Prompted by our ogling, the bartender mentioned they made a damn good Manhattan. How could we say no? After asking us what type of whiskey we preferred (we went with the traditional rye), the bartender stirred together Antica Formula sweet vermouth (a hard-to-find variety that ups the ante on the classic drink), Bulleit rye, and some Angostura bitters, poured it into a chilled glass, and plopped in a decadent Italian Luxardo cherry—perfection in a glass.

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