Lantern's Keep is Our Bar of the Week

Leslie Pariseau
In 1939, the Wigwam Bar opened at 44th Street's Iroquois Hotel complete with Native American tchotchkes and pilgrim paraphernalia. After a hiatus as a private dining room, the small space at the back of the hotel's lobby has been renamed Lantern's Keep, hung with reproductions of Degas's ballerinas, and arranged with polished wooden furniture, but head bartender Meaghan Dorman (also of Raines Law Room) fondly re-nicknamed it the Wigwam. One of New York's oldest hotels, the Iroquois has the sleepy feel of a hotel well-kept and dusted, but perhaps a bit forgotten following its boom era (during which James Dean was a permanent resident). This same quiet resplendence carries over to the modest hum of Lantern's Keep. Dorman has set up a small, handsome bar lined with exceptional spirits and a menu splashed with classics like the tall, fizzy pink Floradora (raspberries, gin, ginger, lemon, lime and soda), an early 20th century New York favorite. Guests are a funny mix of curious youngsters having heard something about booze and middle-aged hotel guests having heard something about cocktail hour. Bar staff, though starched and buttoned, are happy to banter and whip up special requests for both, creating a variation on the Corpse Reviver #2 using elderflower liqueur when we stopped in one evening. Lantern's Keep will occasionally close for private events, but guests will always know when to wander in because, of course, the lantern out front will have been lit.

Lantern's Keep
49 W. 44th St.

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