Bar Batavia is just a flight of stairs away from Dutch-Indo snack bar Little Sister ; both midtown spots have the same owners. The sultry 40-seat cocktail bar is decked out in marble and tufted velvet banquettes.
It's quieter and more intimate than Little Sister, where the sizzle from the kitchen contends with chatter from boisterous diners.
On Thursdays (industry night) a DJ spins tunes, while couples lean in to speak softly over drinks and nibble on an abbreviated list of dishes. On other nights, a hip hop jazz ensemble captivates the room.
Refined cocktails from Jeremy Walker are the focus at the bar. In addition to familiar brands, you'll find hand-labeled bottles featuring barrel aged spirits and infusions.
The Batavia Old Fashioned ($15) is strong (3oz) and smoky. It blends Maker's Mark with Ardbeg and smoke. It's just one of several subtle riffs on the classics. You can also try a Fernet and Coke ($12) and barrel aged negronis ($12).
This isn't the place for dinner, but there's still an ever evolving lineup of nibbles.
Satay skewers ($6.25-$7.50) are available with peanut sauce, with a blend of Balinese spices, or flavoured with kecap (sweetened soy sauce), lime leaves and lemongrass.
Jakarta style wontons, Pangsit ($6.75), are crunchy, fried pockets of beef accompanied by a sweet chili lime sauce.
Shrimp chips, lettuce wraps and beef croquettes round out the menu, which is available until midnight. The bar, of course, stays open until last call.