Must-See East Village
by Julie Besonen, 02/08/2012
Death & Co. Photo: Marley White
The supremely named Death & Co. pokes fun at the Volstead Act, which made Prohibition the law of the land in 1919, its supporters avowing that to drink alcohol meant a life shadowed by death. Alcohol is actually taken very seriously by the barkeeps here, who craft impeccable, balanced cocktails with the finest ingredients. The dark, wood-detailed space is handsome, and efforts are made to control crowds and encourage civilized behavior. Politeness and discretion are equally essential at the reservations-only PDT, short for "Please Don't Tell." The drinks are grand at this stylish speakeasy, but what makes it even more of a destination is the secret entryway: patrons enter a hot dog stand called Crif Dogs, and the door to the bar is through a phone booth. Hot dog deliveries can be made to your table. For something even more alternative in the drinks department, try Amor y Amargo, a refined, Spanish-influenced bar that's focused on the world of bitters: Italian amaro, Campari and rare French liqueurs, as well as house-made vermouth (on tap!). Drinks are almost academic. The Scandi Gibson, reminiscent of liquid rye bread, includes aquavit, Cocchi Americano and Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub and Hellfire Habanero Shrub—way too crazy to make at home.