Prohibition may be long over, but there will always be a fascination with secret entrances. It’s tough to have a true speakeasy these days- word gets out fast and the bouncer and lines outside are a fast giveaway. Here are a few of my favorite places that offer quality food, drinks, or scene and a memorable way to get to it. [Nic]
Functioning as Stone Street Coffee Company by day, there is little indication that a secret cocktail den is hidden behind a mundane door within. The logo with a girl in the bathtub above the outside door is a helpful hint. By night, the coffee shop turns into a coat check area. Sweet cocktails, music that encourages dancing, and yes a bathtub all await on the other side. Escape the chaos of the meatpacking district, and opt for here instead.
La Esquina Brasserie
It can be tough to get a reservation if you don’t have a friend there- bring your patience if you try the traditional route of calling their number. It can be hard to get someone on the line and if you do, then they will likely tell you only 5:30pm or 11:30pm are available. A reservation is mandatory. Open the doors to the counter service taqueria on street level and immediately proceed to the guy standing in front of an unmarked door. Only after he confirms your party’s name will he open the door and let you walk down the steps, through the kitchen and into the basement bar and dining area. Food and drinks are good, but come here for the scene.
Located in the basement of a midtown office building, this restaurant is truly unexpected. Sake and decadent tapas-style Japanese food, it’s an authentic dining experience. 864 reviews and 4.5 stars on Yelp- need I say more?