last night my friend david and i checked out apotheke - best described as a depression-era speakeasy mixed with a turn-of-the-century (19th, that is) mad scientist's pharmacy - on an out of the way street in chinatown. this place jumped on my radar last summer when i read a piece in the ny times about the bartender who got himself arrested for setting the bar on fire (yes, truth is definitely stranger than fiction)! not a trick you want to play when fire marshalls are in the house :O
following on the heels of lunch at bxl with anthony the day before (and a keifer sutherland sighting as we drank our beers at the bar), it was a rare back to back midweek bar outing for me! while belgian beers are awesome, the mixed drinks the white lab-coated bartenders (mixologists?) served up at apotheke were a totally new experience for me. my typically drink universe consists of just martinis and single malt scotch - so this was a major change of pace.
this wasn't an easy place to find - without any signage to indicate its location! once we found it, under the sign for a chinese restaurant, i stuck with scotch based cocktails for the most part - while david's had vodka as the base ingredient. all the drinks we had were pretty impressive - and our waitress even got dave to opt for one that had egg whites mixed in, despite his initial protests (it was a "jasmine sour"). i ended the night with a "kissed by absinthe" - switching from scotch to cognac - just to try out the home made absinthe!
it was a good time!