It’s a Secret

The latest hangouts behind closed doors

La Esquina, New York

From events and restaurants to bars and private rooms, the best things are happening out of sight.

For us, it all started with NY’s La Esquina, the restaurant within a restaurant, the spot that you had to be in the know to get into. Over the years, of course, there have been several more (Kitchen Table, Milroy’s and Coyo Taco’s back room in Miami for a start!) and now, there’s a slew of newbies keeping us on our toes again.

On the event front, recently over Art Basel HK, Four Seasons staged a party where guests entered through what seemed to be a refrigerator at the back of a traditional Chinese bakery, and ended up at a party with tunes by Mark Ron. This definitely reminded us of Grey Goose’s Boulangerie Bleue event (where the party entrance was through a traditional French bakery) in LDN many moons ago.

On the bar front, at Casa do Frango in London Bridge, their recently launched Green Room is a hidden, sultry cocktail bar, offering a bar menu of Portuguese small plates and cocktails, located behind a thick curtain. At Passione Vino (UJ loves), the best room is the private dining room upstairs, accessible via a large mirror (aka door), and at the just wrapped Oden Bar (hidden in Cubé of course), there were 12 seats, serving just one dish. And over in Aldgate, the recently launched Barullo (from the owner of Soho’s Rambla) has the speakeasy, BYOC East, below it.

And lastly on the international front, we’re back to Miami. At the Japanese-inspired cocktail lounge Kaido, the real magic happens at their reservations-only hidden bar, Ama (and it’s a 16- course Ama- kase menu, geddit?).

Hidden bars. We’re into them. Bring back the phonebooth entry we say.


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