I splurged on cocktails at Pete Davidson's NYC bar, and I'd do it again

cocktails at Pete Davidson's Pebble Bar
I tried two cocktails at Pebble Bar. and while both were good, one blew me away.Rachel Askinasi/Insider
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  • Pete Davidson and other celebrities invested in Pebble Bar at Rockefeller Center.

  • The second floor serves just cocktails, while the third floor offers food as well.

  • I tried a $20 cocktail, and though it was more than I'd usually spend, I'd probably do it again.

Pete Davidson is part owner of the New York City hotspot Pebble Bar, which opened on February 28.

Justin Theroux, Pete Davidson, and Nicholas Braun
Celebrity investors include Justin Theroux (left), Pete Davidson (center), and Nicholas Braun (right).Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Nordstrom and Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images and Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Champagne Collet & OBC Wines

The list of celebrity backers also includes actor Justin Theroux, "Succession" star Nicholas Braun, and music producer Mark Ronson.

Before they helped this four-story townhouse become Pebble Bar, it was home to another classic cocktail lounge called Hurley's from 1892 to 2000. According to a press release, Hurley's had its own connection to fame and entertainment with its regulars like TV hosts Johnny Carson (who had a personal back entrance, which is still intact today for only those in the know, according to the New York Post) and David Letterman, novelist Jack Kerouac, and decades of "Saturday Night Live" technicians.

I wanted to see what all the hype was about, so I made my way to midtown to check it out.

Pebble Bar
A view of Pebble Bar from across the street.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

After trying and really liking Davidson's restaurant pick for his Staten Island date night with girlfriend Kim Kardashian, I was curious to experience this Manhattan spot he attached his own name to as an investor.

The townhome has three entertaining levels, including one for drinks only and another for private parties.

Second and fourth floors of Pebble Bar
Views of the second floor (left) and fourth floor (right) inside Pebble Bar.Rachel Askinasi/Insider and Nicole Franzen for Pebble Bar

Each of the three entertaining levels has its own caveat. Only two of them are reservable for drinks (floors two and three), while the top floor can be rented out for events or is reserved for VIPs.

The second floor only serves drinks, and since I wanted to try the food as well, I had to book my third-floor, 5 p.m. reservation one month in advance.

For my trip to the swanky midtown bar, I secured a reservation on the third floor.

Third floor of Pebble Bar
A look inside the third-floor area of Pebble Bar.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Here, the bar is walled off from the 35-seat dining-room space, which is decorated with brass table lamps, low seating, and a wraparound leather banquette. During my early evening visit, the room was dark and moody, which made it feel luxurious.

The decor channeled "old New York" with mirrored panels and black-and-white photographs.

There was a selection of specialty cocktails, and I went with the server's recommendation.

cocktails from Pete Davidson's Pebble Bar
We ordered the 500 Miles High (right) and a margarita (top left).Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Featured cocktails, which seemed intricate and well-thought-out, range from $20 to $24. The bar is also willing to make any off-menu classic you have a craving for (though those prices will vary depending on the drink).

I landed on the 500 Miles High, which was one of the most-ordered and best drinks on the menu at the time of my visit, according to our server. It costs $20 and is made using yuzu shu, lychee, St. George pear brandy, and lemon and shiso leaf.

While I didn't really taste the lychee, I felt like it was prominent in the color of the drink. Instead, my palate picked up notes of the pear and yuzu. Overall, I don't think there was one ingredient that overpowered the others. They all worked together, in my opinion, to offer a unique flavor.

I'm personally not a fan of sweeter drinks, and I was pleasantly surprised that, despite having brandy in it, this drink wasn't overly sweet.

I also tried the margarita, which was mentioned as another high point of the menu. This classic costs $21 and is made with lime, agave, and the drinker's choice of either Herradura Ultra Añejo tequila or Dos Hombres Mezcal — we went with tequila.

While it was refreshing and simple, I thought the 500 Miles High was the better order. You can find a great margarita for much less than $21 in other restaurants and bars in this city.

I thought the cocktails were the clear highlight of this lounge.

Pete Davidson and a cocktail from Pebble Bar
Cheers, Pete!Jesse D. Garrabrant/Contributor/Getty Images and Rachel Askinasi/Insider

In addition to cocktails, wine, and beer, the menu lists a limited selection of food. But after tasting two of the small bites and two main dishes, I was less than impressed.

The drinks, however, were delicious and intriguing. The flavor profiles were well-composed and both felt really intentional in their respective conceptions. I hadn't tasted anything like the 500 Miles High before, so it was nice to experience something new. And even though the margarita was pretty classic, it delivered on everything I'd want that drink to be.

This combination of something seemingly innovative and a classic done well made me confident in the rest of the cocktail menu. So even though the drinks were more than I would typically want to spend, I'd be willing to risk it and try out a different one in the future.

I can say for sure that if I go back to Pebble Bar, it will be for the cocktails — or for the possibility of spotting Kardashian and Davidson on a date.

You can read the full Pebble Bar review here.

Read the original article on Insider