Raines Law Room now has a sister, or should I say brother, in Gramercy, NYC. Dear Irving is known for their cocktail program, and four distinct moods for sipping and munching bar bites.
Who to Take: Everyone! Keep going until you have experienced all four spaces.
What’s extra wonderful about the space is that there are four different vibes for the enjoyment of hand-crafted cocktails and small bites.
As you enter, the front features mid-century modern decor, complete with colorful glass and hi-fi, a lá rat pack. Moving toward the back takes you through the art deco sector, with glamorous silver beads that work as dividers in between the lounges (great to snag for a group).
Primo spot is a seat at the gorgeous gold-accented bar, where you can have the bartenders’ personal attention. Keep heading toward the back and you’ll hit a proper Victorian sitting room, with red velvet couches and marble tables, which looks more suited for a cup of tea rather than a cocktail.
Way at the back is the Napoleonic-style room, with opulent chandeliers, velvet curtains, and naughty wallpaper—if you examine closely.
Each style is superbly done, full of period tongue-in-cheek details and beautiful design touches. Dear Irving is the concept of Raines Law Room’s Meaghan Dorman, who also developed the cocktail menu. The cocktails, are of course, simple yet stellar, and come with the push of the summoner bell, just like at Raines. In addition, Dear Irving probably has one of the most sophisticated “bar menus” around, each dish we tried was tempting in its own right.
Kath enjoys a Vice Versa, among the beads of the art deco lounge. Gin, Grapefruit, Bitter, Pamplemousse Liqueur, and Rosé Cava.
Details of the mid-century modern throwback zone, and luscious Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait with cornichons and toast
We snagged a booth in the art deco area and were surrounded by glamour—from floor to ceiling. We tried the potent Ideal Patriot with bourbon, calvados, angostura bitters, and a dash of spiced apple syrup.
The bar seats plenty. We enjoyed a perfectly made martini with lemon peel. Also highly recommended: the espresso martini to keep the action going.
The Victorian sitting room, and Toast Cannibal, a steak tartar, with black truffle, mint and egg yolk
Marinated Baby Beet Root Tartine served with chestnut cream and candied walnut. Mary sips happily in the Napoleonic room in the back
DEAR IRVING, 55 Irving Place (btw 17th/18th Sts), reservations are encouraged, especially for larger groups; waiting may be in store if you go at peak times. This spot retains its popularity, so if you are planning to get in, go at off hours or there may be hours of waiting or no room at all.