First off, Happy Valentine’s Day.
Secondly, one of these nights, I’d highly recommend crawling your way through the East Village, as I did yesterday evening. The soiree began solo at ‘The Box’ - that place that says ‘Spanjer Signs’ on the front.
Hennessy Cognac was having an event entitled ‘Chefs and Chocs,’ in which Hennessy Cognacs and Chocolate would be highlighted together. Now, for those of you who haven’t been to The Box, you’re surely missing out. If you can get in, I’d very much recommend it. The inside is reminiscent of a 1920’s Vaudeville-esque, Burlesque theater, with detailed balconies adorned with pin-up model posters streamed across them. A large red velvet curtain hides the stage set back at the end of the room. I grabbed my signature Hennessy Cocktail, (which was simply Hennessy VS, Gingerale, and pineapple juice – quite refreshing), and perused the room. Lovely ladies dressed as angels, and mischievous men dressed as devils circulated the room, mingling with the crowd. I think they were hired by Hennessy and are not a normal occurrance at The Box. But what apparently is a normal occurrance at The Box is the stage show. Around 20 minutes into the event, as I made my way towards a banquette occupied by a loving couple, I was compelled to plop myself down, for the red velvet curtains parted and out came a series of 3 acts: 1) a woman dressed as a mannequin, standing next to a real mannequin in the same bustier outfit. The real live woman, wearing a non-descript, quite creepy mask, then went on to dance and remove all of her clothes. Geez, I thought, what else was I in for? 2) then came a magician, 3) and finally a fire-breather/eater/blower/whatever. All I knew was that this dude was crazy!
Okay, so the sideshow was over, my drink was empty, and my tummy was not satisfied with the light finger foods being passed around, most of which were missing me altogether. Don’t you hate that! So I needed some substantial food. I knew that a place called ‘Freeman’s‘ was not too far, and to my surprise, was actually right around the corner. I discovered Freeman’s alley, right off of Rivington St. and Chrystie St. It was as if I was transported back to the 18th Century, with the narrow streets and local businesses bustling in the evening’s winter chill. At the end of this alley stands ‘Freeman’s,’ a non-descript, quaint restaurant specializing in meat and potatoes type of fare and classic specialty cocktails. The wait for a table was 1 1/2 hrs., but I didn’t really want a table anyways. A stool opened up at the bar, which is literally an extension of the open-air kitchen. I ordered myself the ‘Freeman’s Cocktail,’ a blend of rye whiskey, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, orange bitters, and a large orange twist. I ordered the lamb meatballs appetizer, which satisfied me to the core. The place was bustling, and I will surely return for a full meal with friends.
Okay, that’s enough for the moment. I must get ready to go to Bookmarks Lounge tonight. I’m there behind the stick.
This bar crawl is to be continued…
Coming up: Death & Co., Pegu Club, and PDT (Please Don’t Tell)…