F, V at Lower East Side-Second Ave.; L at First Ave.
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This venue is closed.
Part of enjoying a Cuban cigar is the knowledge you may never taste one again. Same goes for your first drink at Cocteleria at Cienfuegos, a Cuban rum-punch bar that, along with sandwich shop Carteles and a planned sit-down restaurant next door, represents Ravi DeRossi’s (of Death & Co. and Mayahuel) Little Havana experiment in the East Village. Accessed via an obscured staircase in the back of Carteles, the cocktail lounge opens up into a rainbow-splashed lounge with wrought-metal gates, pink walls displaying ghostly frescoes, and delicate chandeliers that look like they’d tinkle in the wind. Sit in a couch and order: As the minutes crawl by, you might joke that it feels like you’re actually in a Third World country—and then honest-to-god brownouts arrive, timed to the bathroom hand-dryers. But when that drink comes, all is forgiven: Cocktail whiz Charlotte Voisey has assembled a delicious roster of uncommon beverages, like a vegetal watermelon-and-arugula punch, and a dry “Movable Feast” tinged with cider, vermouth, and nutmeg. The nightly crowd, a young party-oriented bunch, orders these drinks in mondo tureens meant for sharing—a dose of tropical punch as commanding as a punch in the nose.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.