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.

By Charlotte Druckman
Updated March 31, 2015

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 Springfield

Wishin’ and Hopin’

Les Nubians


Marcos Valle

Crickets Sing for Anamaria

Andrew Bird

Skin Is, My

Gnarls Barkley

Smiley Faces

Yo La Tengo

The Race Is On Again

Grand National

Peanut Dreams

Primitive Radio Gods

Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand

The Ditty Bops

Gentle Sheep


If I Ever Feel Better