The New York Nights Venue of the Year for 2010 Goes To…

By Gamal Hennessy

As a nightlife native, I have been to several new venues in 2010 that are very good. From the tiki craze of Painkiller and Hurricane Club, to the upscale Midtown scenes of Mad 46 and Lambs Club to the hidden pleasures of Vintry to all the other spots I wasn’t able to visit yet, New York nightlife continues to offer variety, quality and pleasure. But for all the good venues we have seen in 2010, one of them has made more of an impression that any other.

Imagine a venue that offers elegant high quality service without forcing you to buy a bottle, wait on line or deal with unnecessary attitude. Think about a place that offers live shows where established, professional artists like Si*Se, N’Dea Davenport and Tito Puente Jr. sing, mingle and drink with the crowd both during and after the show. Consider the venues you like that are easy to get to, impressive to look at and comfortable to entertain in. Now combine all that together and throw in cocktails large enough to be served in fish bowls and you have Salon Millesime.

Since it opened in the Fall, the Salon has quietly been raising the bar for midtown venues. It doesn’t have an established high profile sister venue like Plunge in the Gansevoort Park Avenue, but it has better service without the automatic tips. It doesn’t have the Las Vegas cache of a spot like Lavo, but unlike that venue you won’t be trampled by a desperate imitation cougar trying to get inside. It might not be the next big thing in New York live music like Don Hill’s, but it is one of the hidden gems of New York nightlife this year.

There is a lot of competition in the hotel lounge market, so all the great music and good service at the Salon isn’t a guarantee of longevity or success. But if New York gets more venues like Salon Millesime in 2011 then nightlife natives will have a very good year.

Have fun.