—Mollie Campbell photographs by Lauren Rae Wagner| April 3, 2012 |
Raine's Law Room
Few Manhattan bars eclipse the three-year mark, and even fewer do so while maintaining an off-the-radar reputation. Opened in 2009 and still going strong, Raine’s Law Room is one of the few. The Flatiron speakeasy has all of the mystique and mixologist talent of a PDT-type establishment, yet its name remains hush-hush.
Ring the doorbell at the bar’s residential-looking doorway and—capacity level (55 or so) permitting—you’ll be ushered through the dimly lit foyer, past the gratis coat check, and into the sophisticated, prohibition-era living room. Referred to as “The Lounge,” the bar's sitting area is replete with cozy velvet chairs huddled around small cocktail tables, a candle-lit fireplace, and tufted leather couches. Beyond The Lounge, the more secluded Parlor area is appointed with four banquettes veiled by sheer curtains to provide just the right degree of privacy. Further still is the bar area, where guests hover around an ample island to observe head mixologist Meaghan Dorman and her team at work.
Using plenty of ingredients grown in the bar’s small, well-tended garden, the 30 cocktails on Dorman’s menu are organized by category: tall and fizzy, short and shaken, and stirred and potent. Filed under tall and fizzy is the Fort Knox, consisting of Bulleit Bourbon, lemon juice, Vermont maple syrup, and club soda. Off the menu, Dorman creates bespoke cocktails based on her guests’ favorite flavors. We asked for something sweet and earthy and Dorman presented us with a fresh blackberry bramble, piled high with petite ice orbs and served with a small metal straw-spoon for sipping and scooping.
As speakeasies and bespoke cocktail bars continue to trend in New York, it can be tough to separate the truly special from the formulaic. Raine’s Law Room is unquestionably the former. 48 W. 17th St.; email@example.com