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Frank Sinatra's NYC restaurant haunts: Patsy's, P.J. Clarke's and more

Admit it: You kind of wish you were a member of the Rat Pack.

Frank Sinatra would have turned 101 on Dec. 12, and what better way to remember the Chairman of the Board than to dine like him?

Sinatra is a native of Hoboken, N.J., right across the river, but the crooner -- who sang perhaps the most famous version of "New York, New York" -- was inexorably associated with the city.

Of course it's been a while since Sinatra, who died in 1998, was a fixture of New York City's dining scene, so some of his favorite spots have been lost to time. But some of his haunts are still around and serving food -- perhaps a testament to how the best things tend to last.

Patsy's

Patsy's is by far the restaurant most associated
Photo Credit: Donna Dietrich; Michael E. Ach

Patsy's is by far the restaurant most associated with Sinatra -- on its website, the restaurant notes that it "has been known for years as the restaurant Frank Sinatra made famous." You can still order up old-school Italian there, but you might not have the exact same experience as Sinatra, who was said to have entered through a special door to sit at a reserved table on the second floor. Sinatra became especially loyal to the restaurant after making a solo Thanksgiving reservation one year, not realizing the restaurant was slated to be closed that day. Patsy Scognamillo didn't want to turn Sinatra away, so he allowed the reservation. He also didn't want Sinatra to know the restaurant was opened just for him -- so he had the entire staff bring their families to fill the place up, something Sinatra didn't learn until years later, according to Patsy's lore. The restaurant still celebrates its connection to Sinatra: At right, in 2002, Joe Scognamillo served actor Bill Boggs, who had dressed up as Sinatra. (236 West 56th St., patsys.com)

P.J. Clarke's

P.J. Clarke's was a favorite of many famous
Photo Credit: Bryan Smith

P.J. Clarke's was a favorite of many famous faces -- Buddy Holly proposed to his wife there -- but Sinatra is among its most legendary patrons. According to the restaurant's website, Sinatra "regularly closed the place down." If you want to feel like him, try to snag his spot at Table 20 -- he was regarded as its "owner" way back when. The atmosphere remains: P.J. Clarke's boasts that the original location is "virtually unchanged" since it opened in the late 1800s. (915 Third Ave., Manhattan, pjclarkes.com)

21 Club

The 21 Club has pulled in some of
Photo Credit: Jason DeCrow

The 21 Club has pulled in some of the biggest names in the world: Almost every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has dined at 21 Club -- and Donald Trump recently enjoyed a burger there after being elected. So it's not surprising that Sinatra was no stranger to this speakeasy-turned-celebrity haunt, where ties were required until 2009 and jackets are still a must. His company when he dined there shows how upscale the clientele was: Sinatra was once photographed escorting Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to the restaurant after a concert in 1975. (21 West 52nd St., Manhattan, 21club.com)

Jilly's Saloon

Jilly's Saloon is one Sinatra haunt that you
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

Jilly's Saloon is one Sinatra haunt that you can't visit anymore; it has long since been transformed into the Russian Samovar. The bar's owner, Jilly Rizzo (born Ermenigildo Rizzo) was close enough to Sinatra that the headline of his New York Times obituary called him a "close aide" to the crooner. Sinatra is pictured here with his second wife, Ava Gardner, in an undated photo at an undetermined location, but he could often be found at Jilly's -- which the New York Post deemed Sinatra's favorite bar in the city. While the name and menu may be different at the Russian Samovar, you can still grab a drink at the bar and imagine what it might have been like way back when. (256 West 52nd St., Manhattan, www.russiansamovar.com)

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