With dim lighting that makes everyone look good, this East Village-style speakeasy does good food and a bourbon range that’d make Bukowski proud.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
Horizontal slatted blinds and moochie candlelight create the impression that you’ve stumbled into the kind of New York bar that Bukowski himself might have ordered a drink in – and with over 50 bourbons there’s no doubt he would have stuck around. Cocktails such as an Old Fashioned or Amaretto Sour are expertly mixed and the modest wine list is thoughtful. Food offers choice for both snackish drinkers and hungry diners, from the small plates the devilled whitebait is plump, juicy and tastes of the sea and the garlicky gambas pil pil is also great – though maybe not for a first date. Mains like dukkah-crusted pumpkin and halloumi warm salad sit alongside pizzas and the Chinaski burger – served with skinny fries, chorizo and jalapeños. At weekends, DJs play chilled-out electronica, soul and disco, perfect if you’re stopping off for a libation before dancing in the Berkley Suite next door.
- High point: Laid-back atmosphere and perfect date lighting
- Low point: No sign – look for the pawnbrokers sign next door
- Notable dish: Arbroath smokie fish pie – market fish, prawns, charred leeks, peas
- Provides: Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Chilled electronic
- Live entertainment: DJs Fri/ Sat from 9pm; Sun 5-10
- Capacity: 60 (20 inc beer garden)
- Largest group: 16
- Open since: 2006
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 11
- House wine: £16.95 per bottle
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