210 Smith St.
The speakeasy movement will never, ever die. It’s like people admit cocktail hour peaked in style and grace in the 20s and we never made an effort to improve on it since. We want our bartenders in suspenders and mustachioed, we want our drinks presented in glassware that accentuates the flavor of the botanicals or whatever, and we want our music classy enough our grandmothers wouldn’t object but with enough jumping and jiving and wailing that any Nazis strolling down Court Street would (see: Swing Kids).
Julie Reiner of Flatiron Lounge fame is the purveyor of the artesian cocktail lounge, playing up the Victorian aesthetic hinted at on 19th Street. The main room is warmly lit, creating a warm glow off the white tile floor and the dark English-style wallpaper, covering the dapper leather couches in elegance and making your guests seem visually 75% more romantic (even your parents).
Start off with some crisps, that delightful term for potato chips, simply saturated in delicious duck fat and dippable in a truffle cream sauce, paired with a Gin Blossom, a tart but powerful introduction into the family of flavors you’ll be experiencing. Follow this up with a juicy Lamb Burger and an Improved Whiskey Cocktail, which whiskey purists will remind you is an Old-Fashioned with a healthy dollop of absinthe. Then again some whiskey purists do not allow ice. I must recommend against the Mac & Cheese, as the teamed-up smells of Gruyere and white cheddar are too powerful unless you’re dining alone with no regard for your fellow man.
I must applaud the Clover Club for turning down a patron’s request for Irish Carbombs, and the subsequent ask for Bud Lights. And ignoring the Nazi’s requests for a jukebox. With Char No 4 and Grocery, they have raised the bar for upscale dining and drinking in Cobble Hill.