Saturday, July 09, 2005

East Side Company Bar: Sasha's speakeasy without reservations

I don't know the name of many bar proprietors, the way a lot of foodies do, but I do know one: Sasha (Petraske). He's the guy behind Milk & Honey, the reservations-only L.E.S. bar with the secret entrance. Earlier this year, he branched out and created another place with the same attention to quality drinks, nice service and a "grown-up" intimate atmosphere, but without the need for referrals and reservations. It's called the East Side Company Bar.

Located at 49 Essex Street, near Grand Street, the entranceway is windowless and covered in wood panels that evoke a Japanese sushi house. A small plaque next to the door lets you know you're at the right place. Inside there is a small stand-up bar, two semi-booths up front, and booth seating for about 25 people in the back. It's low-ceilinged and lit by candles. It has the feel of an ultra-exclusive club car on an overnight train. When the waiter brings over your drinks and snacks, his tray is also lit by a candle. They pride themselves on using fresh ingredients (juices, garnishes, etc.) when possible and have a nice selection of cocktails listed on the menu along with some beer and wine.

I had a delicious mojito and a "House Special Iced Tea" (featuring real tea) mixed with white rum and fresh fruit. It's open 7:30pm to 4am Monday through Saturday. We got there shortly after it opened last night, and got a seat right away, although I'd imagine it might fill up by 10 or 11.

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