BEST PLACE FOR COCKTAILS - 2002
Readers' Choice: Delano Hotel
It started in 1946 as a bait shack. Then it began serving fish sandwiches. Then the menu expanded. Then the bait was phased out and a bar added. Today the bar is still there. So is the food. And so is the Old Cracker spirit of the original establishment launched by Anne Gordon. Her late son Mike didn't change much in the many years he ran the place, and his offspring decided to leave well enough alone. Smart. So there it endures, a long memory hunkered down hard by the Intracoastal on the north side of the 79th Street Causeway. To walk inside is to step back in time. The walls of knotty pine. The old photos here and there. The views out over the water. The feeling that you're always welcome here, no matter who you are, what your age, what time of day, what day of the week. Amble up to the bar in the front room, grab a stool, and ponder the possibilities. Martini? Manhattan? Whiskey neat? You could while away hours here watching the sky go from blue to black. People have been doing it for more than half a century.