At this downtown cocktaileria, the decor is severely chic and the $4 well drinks are fabulous.

With its severe white-and-black bar, oversized ottomans, Eames chairs, and fluorescent yellow steps leading to a pomegranate-hued lounge, Vessel is design-magazine faaabulous. After a few of Jamie Boudreau's gorgeous $10 cocktails, whose recipes vary from the now (Boudreau tops his Vessel 75 with maple foam) to the 19th-century (concoctions involving bitters and Bénédictine), you might feel Absolutely Fabulous, too: Prada-fied and messily tanked. Vessel's happy hour (4–6 p.m. Tues.–Sun.) offers an inexpensive way to warm up to the cool space. Its $4 well drinks are made with the likes of Plymouth gin and El Jimador tequila, and $4 happy-hour snacks, such as mushroom turnovers or a fan of apple slices paired with sharp cheddar, are compact and competent. The black-dressed servers can be as stiff as the drinks, but the bartenders know their stuff—and can strut it.

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