Bowls of honey-roasted peanuts and popcorn kernels tumbling out of brown paper bags were once standard-issue bar snacks — welcome but generic placeholders until dinner reservations two hours later. Now they run the gamut from okonomiyaki (savory Japanese pancakes) to pimento buns, often standing in for a casual, graze-fueled supper.
Hotel boîtes are especially astute at showcasing cocktails' gustatory sidekicks. Sometimes they are luckily gratis, like the petite, spinach-stuffed fritters known as barbajuan that high rollers fill up on at Bar Américain in the Monte Carlo's Hotel de Paris.
But the place I love noshing at most in between rounds of daiquiris happily involves taking out my wallet.
The NoMad Bar is all class. The French- and English-inspired, bi-level space decked out in velvet and marble simultaneously manages to feel like a hospitable pub. The menu of unfussy, satiating bites — including Scotch olives stuffed with lamb sausage and sheep's milk cheese — invites you to ease into your bar stool and order yet another drink. Perhaps the Dos Gardenias (blended Scotch, Palo Cortado sherry, Nocino, gardenia mix, maple syrup, chocolate bitters)? By the time the bacon-wrapped Humm-Dog arrives, it's only contentment that washes over you.
Have you been to the NoMad? Do you agree?