To find the most compelling music for parties, audiophile Charlotte Druckman turned to the pros behind the best restaurant soundtracks, and suggests three winning cocktails to pair with the soundtrack.

Charlotte Druckman
October 17, 2011

Bash for 75

Musical selections by Todd Mallis.

Popping a few CDs into a sound system isn’t good enough for the best restaurants anymore. These days, playlists are expected to show as much creativity as menus.

Todd Mallis, the music director for B.R. Guest restaurants, likes weaving different voices, eras and genres into his playlists. "Keep it moving," he says. "Never stick to just one tempo." At Level V, located underneath the restaurant Vento in Manhattan, he picks eclectic music that has enough kick to keep the energy up through the night.

"Being music director is about creating an atmosphere," says Mallis. "You want songs to be familiar but not too recognizable," like the catchy music by French indie rock band Phoenix featured in Sofia Coppola’s movie Marie Antoinette. Music:

Dusty SpringfieldWishin’ and Hopin’ Dusty Springfield - Ultimate Collection: Dusty Springfield - Wishin' and Hopin'
Les NubiansMakeda Les Nubians - Muzik of the Mind and Spirit - a Concept Compilation - Makeda - Les Nubians
Marcos ValleCrickets Sing for Anamaria Marcos Valle - Samba '68 - Crickets Sing for Anamaria
Andrew BirdSkin Is, My Andrew Bird - The Mysterious Production of Eggs - Skin Is, My
Gnarls BarkleySmiley Faces Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere - Smiley Faces
Yo La TengoThe Race Is On Again Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass - The Race Is On Again
Grand NationalPeanut Dreams Grand National - Kicking the National Habit - Peanut Dreams
Primitive Radio GodsStanding Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand Primitive Radio Gods - Rocket - Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand
The Ditty BopsGentle Sheep The Ditty Bops - The Ditty Bops - Gentle Sheep
PhoenixIf I Ever Feel Better Phoenix - United - If I Ever Feel Better
JemThey Jem - Finally Woken - They