Columbus Tavern 269 Columbus Ave 72nd & 73rd Sts
Upper West Side
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The doors finally closed at City Grill and have already reopened to a refurbished tavern…Columbus Tavern, that is. Though the venue is still a restaurant and bar at heart, Chef Phil Conlon (formerly of Café Cluny and Broadway East) is elevating the menu from Chicken Fingers and Penne a la Vodka to Fluke Crudo ($12) and Charred 12 oz. Ribeye ($28). There’s nothing particularly remarkable about the straightforward tavern décor, so Upper West Side families and young professionals should still feel right at home come mealtime. The cozy cocktail lounge serves up old school classics with a twist, like The Anthorp made with Bache-Gabrielsen GS/3 Kors Cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice ($12) and tastes like a less-tarte version of the Sidecar. It’s only when everyone simultaneously jockeys for the bartender's attention that things can get uncomfortable. The wise patron will munch Spiced Duck Fat Cashews ($4) as he waits for his cocktail and chat up the cutie who already scored a Brazilian Rose (Leblon Cachaca, guava nectar, Triple Sec and rose petal).