The Lantern's Keep

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last reviewed on 02-Nov-2011

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Address: Iroquois Hotel, 49 West 44th Street, (btwn 5th & 6th Aves), New York, NY, 10036 , United States
Tel: +1 212-453-4287
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-midnight, Sat 6pm-1am
Door: Go early
Style: Hotel bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end


Tucked into a small space at the back of the Iroquois Hotel's lobby in Midtown, the Lantern's Keep looks like the private dining room it once was. Its nine marble-topped tables and five-seat bar occupy a dark-paneled space presided over by a friendly, knowledgeable staff, and it feels like a secret find near Times Square on this very clubby street.

The two-page cocktail menu is divided into sections named for the presentations: Shaken & Served Up, Shaken & Served On A Rock, Stirred, et cetera, and guests are encouraged to go off-menu and ask for a particular style, spirit, or flavour. (As a further signpost of the classical principles observed here, a copy of David Embury's "The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks" sits prominently at the end of the bar.) We couldn't quite picture the Jungle Bird, with its mixture of black strap rum, pineapple juice, Campari, lime, and simple syrup, but were glad we took the plunge: the rum's toasted-marshmallow nose was immediately sweetened by the fruit and then the Campari's bite kicked in for a long redolent finish. (This drink was original to the Aviary Bar in Kuala Lumpur.) A lighter option was the Pay-Per-View, which combines sweet, dry, and blanco vermouth with a bit of lime and sugar and has a surprising (and appealing) bit of funkiness in the mixture.

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