March 1, 2013

The Raines Law Room - Take me back in time

So I finally went to The Raines Law Room last Friday night - and boy was it worth the wait!  Which by the way is probably the most atrocious wait I've ever endured to go to a bar.  After having a failed attempt the past Sunday night when we dropped by at 11:30pm (!) to be told it was an hour wait - at which point they would be having last call, we decided to try again another night - and go MUCH earlier.

By MUCH earlier, that meant for us dropping by to put our name down around 8:30pm, knowing fully well we wouldn't get called back until 11pm.  WOW.  I know.  It's not something I would ordinarily ever have the patience for or tolerate.  I'd likely rather just go to bed.  And it set me up to try really hard to go in and just not like it - to be able to say - it's not worth it, I'm over the whole speakeasy thing.

Well, it was pretty worth it.  The bar is really small, but as soon as you get in you feel somewhat transported to another world, another time. Like I really felt like I was back in prohibition days (not that I know what that was like, but you get the drift).  Each of the table areas had a cute doorknob that you would press which would alert the "kitchen" that you needed assistance.  How clever.  There were several types of seating arrangements, some being enclosed in drapes, others in open in the front like a cozy lounge.  You sort of felt like you were at someone's home - and intimately involved in everyone's conversation.  I kind of liked that.

The bar itself - be forewarned, you will likely be told upon entering that they have "two standing room" spaces for you at the bar.... (trust me - this fired me up, I was like woah, wait - I waited 3 hrs to stand?)...but bear with it.

The "bar" is at the back and is really more like an open kitchen where the bartender is making all the drinks.  It's honestly like being in someone's kitchen with an awesome bartender.  Front row seat for the action!  I honestly loved it, and bit my tongue that I had acted a little less than proper when originally being sent back there to "stand."

The drinks are strong - and well described in the menu.  Think old fashioned cocktail time - with unique and novel twists.  Honestly, I'm no cocktail connoisseur, so I can't really describe many of them, but know that I had something that had the "peat" smell.  Everyone found this fascinating (not sure I really got it, but okay).

All in all - I say it's definitely worth a try.  Just plan ahead so you put your name down before dinner in the neighborhood. Otherwise you might end up passing your time at Rye House down the street...

If you do go before 6:30 or so on a weeknight, you may be able to walk in...after 7ish though get ready to wait.  Once people get there, they don't tend to leave quickly.

They take reservations Sun-Wed

The Raines Law Room
48 West 17th St (between 5th and 6th)
It's down some stairs - there's a doorbell.  Ring it and someone will answer.

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