Friday, December 9, 2011

Spot-Light: Lantern’s Keep

When the Light’s on…
Lanterns Keep Room View ShoesNBooze
The rushing crowds and frenetic energy of Midtown Manhattan can be electrifying for newcomers and tourists, but if you’re among the horde of area worker bees, it’s actually more frazzling than anything. For a respite from the madness, duck into the Iroquois Hotel on West 44th Street and head straight back to Lantern’s Keep. You’ll step into an intimate (seats 30 people) turn of the century Parisian salon with a beautiful working fireplace, dim lights and romantic settees.
Lantern's Keep Theo Lieberman
If the calm ambiance doesn’t help you breathe a sigh of relief, the retro-inspired cocktails- many crafted by head bartender, Theo Lieberman- will definitely do the trick. They’re all decidedly simple in construction because Theo (who’s like the Doogie Howser of mixology) likes the idea of someone enjoying a drink at the bar and then being able to go and make it at home. If your drink happens to require a straw, look forward to sipping from a stainless steel spoon straw, and don’t be surprised if you order the same drink twice, but the glasses aren’t identical. Lantern’s Keep uses a rotation of vintage glassware, some of which comes from Theo’s personal collection and all of which is stored in a chiller until it’s time to come out and play.
Lantern's Keep Regal Rum Rickey
Those who enjoy a refreshing tropical tipple will delight in a Regal Rum Rickey. It’s tart, tangy and quite tasty.
Recipe:
2 oz Flor de Cana 7 year
.75 oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar & water)
.85 oz lime juice
Mix ingredients in a shaker and serve in a Collins glass.

Lantern's Keep Theo in Action
My personal favorite was the Stay Up Late (from the Stork Club, 1946). Unfortunately I managed to drink the ENTIRE glass of complex, citrusy goodness without snapping one photo. However, Here’s the recipe:
1.5 oz Beefeater Gin (Their well gin for shaking)
.5 oz cognac
.75 oz lemon juice
.75 oz simple syrup
Shake, pour into a Collins glass, top with soda and garnish with an orange wedge and a cherry.
I recently attended a press event at Lantern’s Keep and joked to a table mate that it seems like the kind of place a man might bring his mistress. She replied, “I’d bring my husband here.” I upped the ante and suggested that she have him meet her and then pretend to be a mistress. Though the vibe is calm and chic, for some reason, there’s a slight air of mischievous sensuality in the air. Maybe it’s the lingering scent of grapefruit zest (ask Theo about his love for the fruit).

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