Barca Lounge

Vodka Marathon

Dimly lit Barca shares its name with the Barcelona Football Club, but the only sport you'll witness at this vodka bar—boasting 100 varieties from around the globe—is power drinking. Its deep, dark red walls, subtle lighting, and serpentine bar are as attractive as the patrons who come for Wednesday-night turntablist Leopold Bloom, for one-off minimal techno sets, or just to recline in one of the velvety high-backed booths. The expansive upstairs is decorated with real ivy and a DJ perch ringed in white Christmas lights. Vodka samplers of three 3-ounce flavors are available in combinations from the pedestrian "potato" (three made the old way) to the decadent "dessert" (starring banana, chocolate, and "strasberi"). High rollers can call a drink with Jewel of Russia Ultra, while reading tips on its enjoyment from a massive bar-provided guide. An excerpt: "One expert Russian taster noted that vodka is valued 'not just for its clarity, but for a crystalline luster, an internal energy.'" At $15 a pop, that vodka better shine like diamonds. RACHEL SHIMP

 
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