165 West 26th Street
212 627 8320

Tillman’s is the bar we’ve been dreaming of all our lives. An instant favourite from the second we walked in past the friendly doorman, totally on-cue staff into the gorgeous, warmly lit two room spot. Cozy grotto-like booths are at once intime and social, decorated with black and white jazz photos; and the ‘s’ curvature formation in the main room strikes precisely the right note of being seen while allowing you to have your privacy. The menu is a nostalgic and clever grilled cheese theme; Classic American with tomato soup, brie and pear on brioche with truffle butter, French onion soup sandwich done with caramelised onion compote and Gruyère. But it strikes just the right balance; there is something for every taste, including also a heart of palm salad and a Cajun chicken sandwich (done with cheddar chipotle). Cutely even the strawberry shortcake dessert is toasted and served with sweet cheese. But what we loved best was the ultra sophisticated, ultra diverse crowd (tuxedos to dreds, it all looks at home here.) We overheard couples on dates, groups toasting, young professionals having post work cocktails, even parents catching up with their adult kids discussing everything from the influence of Indian food in Afghanistan to the merits of true love versus money to the Gigi D’Agostino CD. The staff are also perfect. For too long, bars have made patrons feel like they’re lucky to get in; and Bernard and his staff do away with all that stripping away the wannabe-cool and delivering understated hosting. Making Tillman’s, well, just plain cool.


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