106 Norfolk St.
Lower East Side
Those who even notice this boxy, amber-lit room while walking to the Back Room next door are likely to take one look at the rustic flower arrangements on the small mahogany bar and the row of two-tops against the weathered-brick wall and assume it’s a wine bar, or a tiny restaurant. Yet despite the fancy flatware, the only food here is whatever takeout you’ve brought. Indeed, a second glance at the bottles on the mirrored back bar—handpicked liquors like Booker’s Bourbon and Wray & Nephew OP White Rum—reveals that cocktails and cordials are the chosen poisons here. The namesake owner Sunita (who lives upstairs) will dig up a faded drink menu if need be, but most of her friendly, thirty-something regulars know exactly what to order for their dates: the martini combining passion fruit purée with jalapeño-infused vodka for a sip that progresses from full-on fruity to delightfully throat-tickling or the mango peach martini made from fresh ingredients that are muddled and shaken with vigor. If the soft Euro-beat isn’t to your liking, feel free to ask the doyenne to pop in the latest CD you’ve purchased at Ephemera or Halcyon, or better still, escape to one of the few sidewalk tables.