If you’re a New Yorker- you’re likely to be giving me a funny look right now. I’m reviewing that which is not exactly a cocktail bar or lounge. Located in the back of the Iroquois hotel in midtown (44th street between 5th Ave and 6th Ave), the Lantern’s Keep is a surprising gem. Classy and quiet. Nice drink selection, ample seating. Perfect for conversation with friends or a date. The vibe feels European to me, with what appear to be Degas prints on the wall.
I could name drop and say that the menu has the same mind behind it as Raine’s Law Room near Union Square, but I’ll let it stand on its own. One of my personal favorites on the menu was the Tailspin – a mix of Plymouth gin, sweet vermouth, green chartreuse, orange bitters & a rinse of campari, stirred and served. Everything on the menu that I tried was excellent.
So if you happen to venture near Times Square, looking for a drink, you could do so much worse than Lantern’s Keep. In fact- for great drinks and quiet conversation, I think there’s few places you could do better.
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Little Branch is yet another bar in the “Cocktail Empire” of Sasha Petraske. For cocktail aficionados, you already know that is an indication that this place is top notch. For everyone else, give me a brief moment and I’ll tell you why Little Branch should be your unmarked door bar of choice.
Firstly, the decor is intimate and warm. There are plenty of cozy dim lit booths. The bartenders are decked out in suspenders and period dress. I’ve had good experience walking in and getting a seat. There’s a fair amount of booths, but very limited bar seating. That’s too bad because that’s where the action is. Fresh juices, large blocks of ice, and a bar that spans the spectrum of imaginable herbal liquors, bitters and high quality ingredients.
The atmosphere is a bit different than other similar bars. For example, live jazz several nights a week. Also, the shape of the bar causes it to feel more crowded than other similar speakeasy bars. The door policy is much more lenient meaning you’re likely to get in, but the place can fill up.
What’s Good: When in Rome, I do as the Romans.
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