I'm down in NYC for the media upfronts and had the good fortune to get some shopping and dining in this weekend before all the work begins.
On Saturday I visited a bar in the West Village that is becoming one of my favorites: Employees Only. I actually visited this spot last Fall, and unexpectedly ended up there again on this trip (which is bizarre given the sheer volume of bars in NYC).
Originally intended to be an owner-operated retaurant catering to other folks in the service industry, it was designed to have a speakeasy feel - it's very dark and unassuming, with a minimal signage out front and well-covered frontage (you enter the door to the building but then pass through a curtain to enter the bar area). The bar area is small and casual, but wonderfully decorated to feel like the library in a personal home. Towards the back of the room is the more spacious restaurant, which opens up to a brighter, outdoor garden seating area.
We sat at the bar, where we enjoyed a few libations prepared by the humorous Igor (pictured here). The cocktail menu at this place is amazing; among them:
- Fraise Sauvage: Plymouth Gin shaken with Wild Strawberries Tahitian Vanilla & topped off with Mumm Joyesse Demi-Sec Champagne
- Pimm's Cup: Pimm’s No1 served tall with a blend of Cointreau, Lime Juice and Ginger Soda, garnished with Cucumbers & Fresh Mint
- Amelia: Russian Standard Vodka & St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur shaken with Pureed Blackberries & Fresh Lemon Juice
And there are more. We also had a delicious Serbian Charcuterie Platter of cheeses, meats, roasted red peppers, bread, and a tapenade spread.
The food & conversation were excellent, but the most interesting part of our visit had to be the tarot card reader that sits in the doorway, in front of the velvet curtain that gives way to the bar. Yes, I agreed to have my cards read, and she was eerily spot on. Without divulging too much in this public forum, I'll say that I purposely gave her no indication of my life situation, and she was able to deduce where I'm at in my professional & personal life and make some very interesting observations!