How much do you want it? Do you want great service, amazing amber light that can make anyone look great (trust us here), liquor that isn't anywhere else, like Yugoslavian silovitz (plum brandy) and individual fresh bar snacks on porcelain trays?
If you do, and if you're willing to pay for it, then you might not be as shocked as we were when we opened the mammoth leather bound menu (you can take a copy home for, ahem, $125) and saw that the most affordable drink was $9. A perfectly nice Chilean merlot, served in a largged Riedel glass embossed with a Brandy Library swirl was presently before us nicely and we were given all the time in the world to drink it. A decent wine list and about a half dozen beers are offered but we've never felt less inclined to order a beer because our much-loved Brooklyn lager was also $9. We joked about how much beer are we getting exactly, thinking-hoping- they might be all about the European pours. We were wrong. The price on the menu, like all the beer prices, were for bottles.
As the name implies, though, it's not about the wine, beer or cocktails (all $13) at the bar. The hard working staff has to use library ladders to reach the stock of Amangnacs, cognacs and Scotches that line the walls. Everything about the presentation is perfect and reserved, and the staff, whom we like enough to want to clone, are almost invisible. Scotch is something we learned to like from people who love it and people that love it sip vintages much older than themselves in leather club chairs. They wouldn't dream of ordering it with Coke like the Beatles did to celebrate their first record contract. Before we left we were presented with a tray of two perfect, warm from the oven Gruyere puffs, light as air and absolutely delicious.
If a banker asks you out, this is where you need to meet him. Otherwise, we're looking forward to the next dive bar.
25 North Moore Street, near Varick Street