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Bar of the Week: EMPLOYEES ONLY on Hudson Street in NYC

Employees Only, located downtown, is now celebrating their ten-year anniversary and it is an ideal choice for our "Bar of the Week."

Located behind a glowing neon "Psychic" sign at 510 Hudson Street, this is a real insider's spot, an attractive speakeasy that evokes the charm of the 1920's. Once you're in the know and inside the premises, the appeal of Employees Only becomes evident in a matter of seconds. With tasteful, mood setting art deco furnishings, flawlessly attentive service, delicious menu choices and inspired house cocktails, we guarantee you will be a regular.

Employees Only doesn't simply serve classic cocktails, it elevates them. Their "Fancy Cocktails" includes selections like the Billionaire Cocktail, a drink that is sharp and energetic with Baker's Bourbon, fresh lemon and absinthe bitters. We like the Mata Hari with Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac shaken with Chai-infused Italian vermouth and pomegranate juice. For an aperitif, try the Provencal with lavender infused Plymouth Gin, Cointreau and dry vermouth that create a smooth drink with floral undertones. And their own Manhattan Cocktail begins with a base of Rittenhouse Rye combined with Italian vermouth and angostura bitters, finished with Grand Marnier.

The menu by Chef Julia Jaksic has an incredibly pleasing selection that offers small plates, pre-theatre, dinner, late night offerings and desserts. Every appetizer and small plate at Employees Only offers a twist of creativity, often with an unlikely ingredient that fits its recipe perfectly. We suggest the Bone Marrow Poppers. Once you try this melt-in-your mouth recipe served in pastry shells and finished with Bordelaise, you'll order them again and again. The Bacon wrapped Lamb Chops are crispy on the outside, tender inside. The tastes of earthy lamb and salty bacon integrate wonderfully enriched by an anchovy-laced salsa verde. The Ricotta Gnocchi are plump and tender, served with sake mushrooms and asparagus. And to see how well the Employees Only cuisine works with a just a few ingredients, try their potatoes gratin as a delightful side.

Perhaps the most famous Employees Only selection is the Hand-Cut Steak Tartar, a true signature dish. It is made with filet mignon and the ingredients are mixed tableside. The steak itself is served with fresh greens and expertly made crostini. Be ready for the sweet, smoky chipotle flavor that is essential to the Employees Only recipe. The seasoning makes the steak and crostini an even better pairing than usual.

Employees Only is a distinctive and welcoming venue, always ready to please guests with excellent food and drink. Visit them at 510 Hudson Street (between Christopher and West 10th Street), New York, NY 10014. Call them at (212) 242-3021 or visit their web site at

Photo Credit: Emilie Baltz

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