Remember the beloved Madeline series of children’s books? Ludwig Bemelmans was their creator, as well as the whimsical murals at Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel – even the illustrations on the table lamps. Look closely and you’ll see his pastel-colored animals celebrating Central Park. Listen closely and you’ll hear old show tunes from the live pianist and smooth pipes of Chris Gillespie. Prohibition-era cocktails like the Old Cuban or Whiskey Smash dazzle, a brief menu with snacks like mini burgers and a shrimp cocktail satiate, yet keep you feeling light on your toes. A bastion of New York high society and the tip-top of every seasoned Gothamist’s list, Bemelmens has been frequented by politicians, movie stars and moguls for five decades. Ludwig Bemelmans once joked he’d like his tombstone to read: “Tell Them It Was Wonderful.” Well, wonderful it was, and still is, at Bemelmans Bar.
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