Sun-Thu, 6pm-1am; Fri-Sat, 6pm-2am
F, V at Lower East Side-Second Ave.; L at First Ave.; 6 at Astor Pl.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
No, the grim reaper isn’t a partner at this cozy boîte. The proprietors are first-timer David Kaplan and Bourgeois Pig owner Ravi DeRossi. Nevertheless, the cocktails created by head bartender Thomas Waugh are killer. Martinis are served in six-ounce glasses with the remainder poured into iced carafes to stay chilled; smoky, fragrant Oaxaca old-fashioneds are made from reposado tequila, mescal, and agave nectar, then finished off with a flamed orange twist. If you’re unwilling to wait for such concoctions—many are stirred 40 to 50 times and taste-tested by the barkeeps a priori—the bar stocks an array of rare, aged brown liquors. Woody, understated classicism may be the intended look when the owners tucked suede banquettes under black-granite tables lit by crystal chandeliers, but the cocktails and cuisine don’t hew as closely to speakeasy traditions.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.