The Dead Rabbit
New York City-Lower East Manhattan
May 11, 2018
On the first level of the heavily wooded and trinket adorned pub sits The Taproom, easily the most crowded of the three distinct rooms that make up the iconic bar – probably because the pints of Guinness in this rowdy room don’t require a vertical climb to reach. Sundays bring a prime rib roast to this very space and a DJ or live musicians liven up the most casual part of the bar most nights.
Perhaps the best part of visiting the Dead Rabbit is the distinct difference between the first and second levels, allowing you to change your ambiance without actually leaving the bar. One floor above The Taproom rests The Parlor, a so-called “cocktail cathedral” where more serious imbibers can dip into The Dead Rabbit’s legendary cocktail program, and perhaps catch some live piano. If you’re more in the mood to slowly sip a punch and chat – or think alone – this is the part of the bar for you.
On the top floor, The Occasional can be rented for private events or wandered into on a weekday afternoon for a quick drink, perhaps capped off with hand-cut chips and Scotch eggs. On a recent afternoon, the relative quiet of this top floor offered the perfect escape from the hectic city below (and above), to indulge in an Irish coffee and forget about the world outside the wood-panelled walls, if only for a brief while. Bartenders are up to chat all things booze and more, but if you’re set on pulling out your phone or a magazine, that’s okay too.
A wide range of whiskeys at The Dead Rabbit root the bar in its Irishness, and experts behind the bar can help whiskey lovers as well as beginners pick their perfect sip. Cocktail-wise, the menu ranges from pre-bottled punches, highballs, a diverse range of mixed drinks, and, of course, the bar’s famous Irish Coffee, popular when the space opens at 11 am, or even at last call just before sunrise if you make it that long!
To complement the outstanding cocktail program, wide-ranging brunch, lunch and dinner menus of Irish-inspired elevated pub fare, like excellently crisp beer battered fish and chips and a savoury braised chicken pot pie, help sop up a little of the booze before you get right back to the cocktail menu.