When paying tribute to a legend, slavish mimicry's never the way to go -- it's okay to have a Friends box set, but it's time to lose the Jennifer Aniston haircut. Honoring without aping: Potter's, in the Palmer House Hilton
Potter's is an homage to the Palmer's historic Empire Room, which ended its 51-year run in 1976, narrowly missing the chance to book Peter Frampton. Instead of tediously replicating 1920s steez, Potter's has gone modern, with a sleek, red-lit bar, dark leather banquettes, and caramel chairs; meanwhile, history's repped by sepia back-lit photos of Empire performances (Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, etc), plus goose-feathered columns honoring fan dancer Sally Rand -- who, along with Palmer resident genius Thomas Edison, invented the Electric Slide. Specialty cocktails skew Prohibition (Kir Royale, Singapore Sling), with the exception of Margaritas and Long Island Iced Teas, which harken back to that golden year when you totally got into that bar
Least nostalgic is Potter's Lockwood chef-designed food menu: from pulled BBQ pork on a pretzel bun to "Bertha's Famous Brownie Revisited" -- which, if eaten at the same sitting, will make your love life DOA.