Bourbon & Branch
You’ll have to jump through plenty of hoops to drink at this nouveau speakeasy. After reserving a table online, you’re emailed a secret password to give at the door—and even once you’re inside, there are persnickety house rules to follow (no name-dropping, no cameras, no Cosmos). It would all seem utterly ridiculous if it weren’t for the payoff: spectacular artisanal cocktails that are actually worth the trouble. Along with “classic and forgotten” drinks, there’s a menu of house specials including the Pomegranate Ginger (a concoction of gin, fresh-squeezed pomegranate and lime juices, and fresh-grated ginger); and the Marmalade Whiskey Sour (bourbon, lemon, homemade orange marmalade and orange bitters, shaken together with a smidge of egg white). An unexpected plus is the atmosphere, which is low-key and friendly. Maybe rules aren’t such a bad thing after all.
Tip: A truncated drinks menu is available at B&B’s no-reservations annex room, the Library. (Ring the doorbell and say “books.”)
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.