The Dead Rabbit
New York City-Lower East Manhattan
May 11, 2018
Named for one of the notorious gangs of New York, the Dead Rabbit has been generating an awful lot of buzz. Run by Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, formerly of the acclaimed Merchant Hotel in Belfast, this East Village venue is situated in a historic building dating back to 1828. The space has been handsomely decked out with wood panelled walls, beamed ceilings and an abundance of era-appropriate memorabilia. It’s evocative without being gimmicky.
There’s a vintage cash register, antique punchbowls and the bartenders wear suspenders. On the first floor, a tap room serves craft beer and Irish whiskeys, while on the second floor, there’s a cocktail parlour serving hot and cold punches as well as a list of historically-inspired drinks. The self-styled “grocery and grog” offers some 72 beverages – flips, possets, fixes, sours, smashes, daisies, juleps and the like – many of which are made via historically accurate mixing techniques, though some of the drinks have been tweaked to appeal to modern palates.
The General Harrison is an aromatic mix of bourbon, cider, egg batter, fresh cream, Demerara sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and allspice, while the Alhambra Royal pairs their own Jamaican rum mix, with creme de cacao blanc, fresh lime and orange juice, and their own house-made Orinoco Bitters. We like the sound of the Red Cup which blends Port wine, Calvados, lemon sherbet, fresh lemon juice, redcurrant preserve, and cucumber soda.
Punches are a big deal here, served communally from large china bowls and the food menu is also inspired by the mid-19th century, with dishes including Scotch eggs and Welsh Rarebit as well as that UK classic, fish & chips.