Bar Review: 1534

1534 is the kind of place you end up at 2 a.m. and randomly run into your ex or your LES dive bartender, or that cute chick you saw at a show last week. It's also the kind of place where you begin the night and unexpectedly end it because you drank three mezcal cocktails and never left. It's a crossroads in the middle of Nolita perfect for post-dinner debauchery or cocktail hour philandering. It's underground, under the radar and just quiet enough that you can grab a booth for a group (or an à deux). The menu is divided into Americas, AOF (Afrique Occidentale Française) and Asia (Indochine France) following its above ground colonizer, Jacques. The Colonial Holiday is a French Caribbean take on tiki with apple brandy, East India sherry, demerara syrup, Velvet Falernum and fresh lime atop which coffee grounds swirl aromatically. The Bang the Drum is a play on the Old Fashioned with Cognac, Amaro and spiced syrup while the Laotian Blossom plays around with vodka, hibiscus syrup, lime, orange and basil leaves -- both well-matched for a round of spring rolls and pork ribs. Whether you arrive early or late, it's worth sticking around to see if someone will order a punch service for
the table poured out of repurposed modern style absinthe fountains. The drip may go slowly, but it goes to one's head quickly and hopefully your ex, your bartender or the tall, dark stranger your just met at the bar is paying.

20 Prince St.
(212) 966-5070

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