NEW YORK—Nestled in the historical Iroquois Hotel in Manhattan’s Theater District, Lantern’s Keep was cozy and welcoming.
It boasts a working fireplace, dark wood and dim lights; most importantly, it has a passionate bartender and staff who create and serve exciting, well-balanced artisan cocktails inspired by the classics but with a focus on fresh ingredients.
It’s a perfect place for dates or private business meetings, where one can converse over small plates such as Seared Sea Scallops and Risotto Fritters while enjoying well-crafted cocktails.
Bartender Rene Hidalgo composed a stunning menu of exciting drinks inspired by classic cocktails. Some of the signature cocktails from the Shaken and Serve Up section, (each at $15) are: Iroquois 2 made with Cognac, Yellow Chartreuse, pineapple, lemon, and Angostura bitters; the Army & navy Gin made with Orgeat, lemon and Angostura Bitters; Gershwin Gin with Ginger, Lemon, Rose water; my all-time favorite, the High Horse Reposado Tequila, Mezcal Aperol, Grernadine, and lime; the Stonecutter Highball with Gin, Amer, tonic syrup, lime, cucumber, mint, and club soda; and Jungle Bird with Blackstrap rum, Campari, Pineapple, and Lime.
You will have to look for the green light at the entrance of the Iroquois Hotel before you walk through the small lobby into this hidden gem. Most cocktails can also be made without alcohol, and if you want to challenge the bartender, ask for a virgin Manhattan.
For nightcaps, there is an eclectic selections such as Alexander 2 Cognac with Crème de Cacao, Cream, Nutmeg; and Grasshopper with Crème de Cacao, Crème de Menthe, Cream, Mint. There are many other wonderful cocktails on the menu, but that is for you to find out. You can also leave it to the bartender once you tell him what mood you are in.
Lantern’s Keep is small; reservations are recommended.
The Iroquois Hotel
49 W. 44th St.
Monday–Friday: 5 p.m.–midnight
Saturdays: 6 p.m.–1 a.m.