Fig. 19 is a Truly Hidden Treasure
Scott and I were planning to eat dinner at a spot that didn't take reservations - normally this pisses me off, but we wanted to do a seafood boil and there are limited options! When I got there, I gave them my number and was told that the wait would be about an hour. As I waited for Scott to arrive, I went on Yelp! to see if there were any interesting bars nearby for a cocktail. A spot a couple doors down caught my attention: Fig. 19 (http://www.figurenineteen.com/).
This is a legit speakeasy. I almost went into the bar downstairs (Home Sweet Home) but luckily I asked the bouncer where Fig. 19 was located. The bouncer was standing between Home Sweet Home and an art gallery. Based on the reviews I read, I did not know that Fig. 19 was located through a secret door in the art gallery. So, when I asked the bouncer "Where is the bar?" I basically handed in my New Yorker card and looked like a complete n00b tourist. Better safe than sorry - the last thing I wanted to do was open the wrong door. Sometimes, a surprise is not the best thing on the other side of the door!
The bar is a stark contrast to the art gallery. The gallery is bright, white and sparse. The bar is brooding, dark and cluttered with knickknacks - including taxidermied animals.
I really loved some of the details, especially the back bar. Check out that spooky animal and owl. Creeptastic.
The fireplace was also very inviting. The peacock was beautiful and very watchful. Dead serious. See what I did there? I know. No shame.
From the menu, I selected the Rhapsody in Rye, made with rosemary infused rye, ginger syrup, Campari, fresh grapefruit juice and sea salt. It had a certain bite to it from the ginger but was overall very balanced.
Scott ordered the Red Lead, made with Irish whiskey, red wine reduction, dry vermouth, Sherry and Absinthe. I gave it a sip - a very complex flavor profile from the reduction and the Absinthe.
Although I was initially annoyed I couldn't make a reservation, I'm glad we had an hour to kill! I had no idea this speakeasy existed. Make sure to add it to your list of hidden NYC treasures - like PDT and Milk & Honey.