Please Don't Tell
New York City-Lower East Manhattan
- Great food
May 11, 2018
PDT (it stands for Please Don’t Tell), this popular bar, is something of an oddity, a cocktail lounge affixed to Crif Dogs, an East Village hot dog joint. You gain entry through a vintage phone box within Crif and enter a too-cool-for-school speakeasy-style space.
The stylishly low-key, relaxed feel of the venue is spiced up by funky touches in the décor the taxidermy-adorned walls might be off-putting to some animal lovers, but who can resist a bear in a hat?
You can relax in one of the leather booths or there’s plenty of space to prop up the bar and enjoy one of the high quality amazing cocktails, courtesy of former Pegu Club mixologist Jim Meehan.
Beer-lovers are also well-served and if hunger kicks in you can order food from Crif’s, next door: hot dogs and burgers in the main, great for soaking up booze and keeping a steady head.
Friendly, knowledgeable staff make up for the fact that it can be tricky to get a reservation (recommended for groups, especially call at 3pm when the lines open to maximise your chances, but don’t be surprised if you’re left hanging on the phone for a while).
At busy times you may have a bit of a wait to get in and, unsurprisingly, given the high concept behind the whole enterprise, it’s not the place to nip into for a cheap drink. But while the whole ‘secret venue’ concept has proliferated to the point of tedium of late and can be a little too self-consciously quirky for some tastes, the commitment to top-notch cocktails and a unique setting means that PDT manages to pull it off.
What their peers say
“Behind a hot dog shop in the lower East Side of Manhattan is truly one of the worlds great bars. One enters via a telephone kiosk in the hot dog shop to an authentic speakeasy style bar. The drinks are overseen in a masterful way by the mercurial cocktail genius that is Jim Meehan. Suffice to say that I have never had a less than excellent drink in this establishment.” Nick Strangeway of Strange Hill
“Consider the source, but over the last few years, PDT bartenders have created close to two hundred original cocktails. The combination of seasonal, sophisticated, sessionable cocktails, a dramatic entrance and hot dogs created by local chefs served from next door has proven that bartenders don’t have to wear bowties and cuff links to be taken seriously.” Jim Meehan of PDT, New York
“One of the best entrances of any bar (through the phone booth in the hot dog restaurant next door) it serves a great menu of drinks developed by Jim Meehan. After a few of his excellent drinks, it is worth ordering a hot dog or two – the dogs have their own private entrance through the wall.” Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown of Mixellany Ltd.
“Please Don’t Tell is a place I always find myself returning to every time I am over in New York. It a Speakeasy style bar that has a bit of a fun element added to it and is a thoroughly enjoyable place to spend an evening. The drinks – a combination of classics and seasonal creations – are always extremely well executed and the Crif Dogs are the best hotdogs to be found anywhere on the planet.” Sean Muldoon of The Dead Rabbit, New York City