Magazine article The New Yorker

Hotel Griffou

Magazine article The New Yorker

Hotel Griffou

Article excerpt

The text message came in from an early arriver: "I'm here. Surrounded by girls." Her dinner companion found her at the bar, amid several teeming parties of young women, their hair brushing her bare shoulders as they leaned in to order drinks. One's first inclination was to credit the gimmicky cocktail menu, but a few rounds proved that these drinks were not girly; even the sweet-sounding ones were, in deference to an alleged old-timey disdain for sugar, very dry. The bartender, in a kind of lacy Rosa's Cantina dress, explained that during Prohibition there wasn't any mulled fruit. There was gin, however, and it went well with cava and a dash of lemon juice.

Hotel Griffou appeared to be in the Daily Candy stage of early renown, a destination for new-restaurant scalp-collectors and spotters of personages whose names in print may tip between Roman and bold. Among the owners are guys who have opened other speakeasy-ish joints (such as Freemans and La Esquina) that have managed to feed people well while maintaining some cool. This restaurant, unmarked outside, occupies the garden level of an old Village town house that was once a nineteenth-century boardinghouse frequented by Mark Twain. …

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