Raines Law Room 48 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011 is for those who value personal space. Here, you don’t crowd around a bar. There is no bar in the traditional sense. They have a “kitchen” where mixologists make your drinks. (No food is made.) You must be seated by a host, in either the front area with couches lining either side, or middle area where small sets of couches are sectioned off by drapes. First, you’ll have to find this unmarked basement of a small building.

There was no wait at 7:30pm on a Wednesday night, but most seats were taken. I was with 6 friends, all of us intrigued by the privacy (we had drapes), and this little chain you pull on when you want service. It turns on the doorbell light and tells them in the kitchen.

service light

They have an extensive menu ($13 and up) showing off some of the latest in liquors and bitters. We could have studied it for hours. I had a special called the 19th Century: whiskey, cocao, lemon juice, and some kind of bitters. It was possibly the most interesting cocktail I’ve had, an unexpected deep and complex flavor, winter-y and favored by all. I have to give credit to Amanda (blog, twitter)  for picking it for me. Unfortunately, she found her Spyglass (Flora de Cana 18 year rum, Fee’s Orgeat, Lemon Juice, Cherry Bitters, Moet Imperial Champagne, and a Brandied Cherry) way too juicy. Others liked their drinks, though a tad sweet. No second round.

Blood Orange Cocktail

I get the feeling this place used to be quite classy, focus placed on respect, space, and service. Then word got out and now louder crowds started coming here and they didn’t enforce any noise control (like at Angel Share) . It’s still worth a trip, but maybe not two.

posted by jessica at 04:50 PM Filed under Cocktails and Liquor, Drinks, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.