GQ has a great slideshow of the best cocktail bars in America.
I can proudly say that I have visited #4 Clover Club, #6 Death & Co., #14 Rickhouse, #19 Cole’s, and #23 The Edison. I hope that I can add to that list soon. I have a few pictures of Rickhouse and Cole’s from my iPhone:
Rickhouse has kind of a southern speakeasy-on-the-bayou feel. Extremely dark, which I love, except for the fact that it makes it a little difficult to read their voluminous menu (no complaints though, so many great drinks to try). Aside from the cocktail pictured (which likely contained some type of whiskey), I seem to recall sharing a punchbowl. Great decision.
I’ve only been to Cole’s a few times, and only once really to drink (their French Dip sandwiches alone are worth the trip), but I do really like the place. The Sazerac pictured at right really hit the spot. Great atmosphere, fairly small and never too crowded, and really talented bartenders. I’d probably make this more of a regular spot if it wasn’t in Downtown, making it kind of inconvenient.
Also, apparently they film some of the bar scenes in Mad Men here, which for me is a definite plus.