flappers, pearls, gin-joints, and boots. on a rainy friday night in march, my husband and i stumbled onto the city speakeasy scene. in our best and coming from the symphony, we went with our friend and his sister to pilot a relatively passé phenomena in our city: exclusive and private dining and cocktails at the knee high stocking co
to even enter the club, our friend had to procure the phone number and text message in for a reservation. the front door is locked and groups are invited in one at a time only. the location is secret. entrance is granted to those with reservations upon ringing the bell. so we stood in the rain, waiting for someone to let us in. but it was worth it! the dark ambiance, vintage chandelier, the “house rules” and swinging music. delicious cocktails–like drinking hand-made works of art. in our very finest, we were seated in the VIP section of the tiny establishment.
the cocktails are expensive, but worth the price. they are made by a bartender who understands how to mix drinks. naturally–the specialize in absinthe. but, i started out the night with a st. germain…elderflower being my liquor of choice these days. it was amazing and sparkled in the candlelight.
the house rules were simple, but poignant:
kindly speak-easy unless the bartender says its ok
keep your seat and no standing at the bar
when the bartender says you’ve had enough, you have
we don’t have jagermeister, nor any drink that contains the phrase “upside down”, and nothing with red bull
don’t bring anyone here you wouldn’t take to grandma’s for sunday dinner
please take phone calls outside
no flash photography
our drinks can be labor intensive, your patience is appreciated
as this is a small bar and we have to make rent, we may ask for your table after you’ve finished
please exit briskly and quietly
this was a place about appreciating good things–not getting drunk and partying.
it was exactly the kind of place that i like.
from what would be shocking frescos in the 1920’s, to cushy loungy VIP room, it was an exclusive experience. and i felt really special being there–the point of engaging in exclusive activities, right? the light foods were delicious…we shared brandied goat cheese–served by being lit on fire, the house-made tater tots served with coriander ketchup and garlic aioli, and fried lumpia. i finished with fried cherry hand-pies.
a brave man in our party tried the “cup of awesome”: gin, stout beer reduction, egg white, agave, bitters, shaken twice, topped with nutmeg. sound intense? in the hands of an expert bartender it was fabulous.
in the end we stumbled back into the rain, well-fed and watered. we hopped into our cab and went home, feeling like classy and posh urbanites (who just got away with something a little secret, and a little underground).