>> 1/27/12

102 Norfolk Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 228-5098

So it goes like this. Operagirl and I were out and about, having a night on the town, when I suggested walking over to The Back Room for a night-cap. I like my hidden speakeasies as we all know, and what could be more hidden than a place with literally no sign, where the entrance is under the sidewalk and down a dark alley? And yet despite all of these otherwise fantastical things, The Back Room is simply awful.

The Back Room has just about every single thing going for it. High tin ceilings and crystal chandeliers, top shelf liquor and velvet sofas. But it also goes over the top on kitsch, indeed it does so to a damning degree. I want so much to like a place like this. I want to love it. But the music is super loud, it gets super crowded, and the drinks are... well the drinks stink. Where The Back Room excels is in its physical space. There's a large bar area, nude 19th century paintings, sofas in the rear, and a dimly lit, Victorian atmosphere. But it ruins all this with its club music and crowds and the not-so-subtle feeling that half of Manhattan already knows it exists (actually 3/4 of Manhattan). And of course, the drinks have room for improvement.

If you've already arrived and all of the sofas are taken, fear not. I'm sure that if you stand around for an hour, something will open up. Who knows, maybe one of the bachelorette parties that are there will ask you to take photos with them, as happened to me. "We want to be seen with a cute guy!" Flattering, if hollow. When your drinks arrive, they'll be in 1920s speakeasy form: a teacup or a beer bottle wrapped in a paper bag. The teacup, despite being half the size of a normal drink glass, I can forgive, but the paper bag makes me feel like I just bought of forty of Old English at a Spanish Harlem bodega. And with the beer choices including Miller and Bud Light, I'm not far off.

If, by looking at the two drinks above, you think "that looks like weak green tea and Hawaiian Punch" then you'd be right. Hawaiian punch with vodka is about as close to what we were given (for $12 a cup) as you could get at home by spiking Junior's lunch kit. To add insult to injury, apparently some of the people who go here are bitches. "That chick just hip-checked me to get to the bar!" Operagirl said before adding "...if I weren't sober..." I can't envision coming back unless invited to a party, but something tells me that I'd second guess my agreeing to show up.

If The Back Room was a real restaurant where the seating up that small set of stairs was where meals were served, where great drinks were available at the bar, and where they enforced the low-end of the maximum occupancy rules, then it could be, in my humblest of opinions, one of the best places in the city. Instead, it's just annoying.

[ © Copyright eateryROW 2012 ]

Back Room on Urbanspoon


Post a Comment

Copyright Notice

The contents of this website/weblog are the property of its author and are protected under the copyright and intellectual property laws of the United States of America. The views expressed within are the opinions of the author. All rights reserved.

Readers are free to copy and distribute the material contained within, but such external use of the author's original material must be properly attributed to the author. Attribution may be through a link to the author's original work. Derivative use is prohibited. The borrower may not alter, transform, or build upon the work borrowed.

The author is free to change the terms of this copyright at any time and without notice. At the written request by the borrower, the author may choose to waive these rights.



$ $$ $$$ $$$$ $$$$$ 24 Hours Alphabet City American Asian Fusion Astoria Atlas Park Australian Austrian Bagels Bakery Barbecue Bar Scene Battery Park City Baychester Bayside Beer Garden/Hall Belgian Belly Dancing Beyond NY Bhutanese Bistro Boerum Hill Bolivian Brewery British Bronx Brooklyn Brooklyn Heights Brunch Burgers BYOB Cafe Cajun/Creole Carroll Gardens Cash Only Celebrity Chef Chain Chelsea Chinatown Chinese CLOSED Cobble Hill Cocktails Coffee College Point Comfort Food Czech Deli Dessert Dim Sum Diner Ditmas Park Downtown Dumbo East 40s East 50s Eastern European East Village Elmhurst Events Filipino Financial District Flatiron Flushing Fondue Food Court Forest Hills Fort Greene Fort Tryon Park French Gastropub German Glendale Gramercy Grand Central Terminal Greek Greenpoint Greenwich Village Harlem Hell's Kitchen Hoboken Hookah Bar HOT DOGS Howard Beach Indian Irish Pub Italian It begins... Jackson Heights Japanese Jersey City Korean Koreatown Kosher Latin Lenox Hill Lincoln Center LISTINGS Little Italy Long Island City Lounge Lower East Side Lunch Manhattan Meatpacking District Mediterranean Mexican Michelin Starred Middle Eastern Middle Village Midtown Moroccan Murray Hill Nepali New Zealand NoHo Nolita Noodles Norweigian NY Area NYC Institution Organic Other Outdoor Seating Park Slope Peruvian Pizza Polish Queens Ramen Raw Bar Red Hook Rego Park Rockaways Rooftop Russian Seafood Small Plates SoHo South African Southern South Street Seaport Spanish Sri Lankan Staten Island Steakhouse Sunnyside Sunset Park Swedish Tapas Tea Thai Trendy TriBeCa Truck Ukrainian Union Square UPDATED Upper East Side Upper West Side Uzbek Vegetarian Venezuelan Vietnamese Views Vineyard Washington Heights West 30s West 40s West 50s West Village Williamsburg Wine Bar Winery Woodside Yemeni

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009. Sponsored by: Website Templates | Premium Themes. Distributed by: blog template

Back to TOP