From the creators of Raines Law Room comes, the same thing – in a building O. Henry once inhabited. A door man greets, seats in the most friendly and efficient way possible. It feels elegant and hospitable, comfortable and proper. The interior is swanky – tin ceilings, brick walls, art-deco light fixtures. The same cozy booth format that structures Raines is found at Dear Irving, though the space seems slightly brighter and more open because the nook divisions are made from hanging translucent beads rather than darker sheer curtains.
A lively chatter builds just after 5:00pm on a Friday. Small groups of business men and women gather for an after-work beverage. The bar garnishes are neatly chilled on crushed ice with a whole pineapple as its central point, perhaps a beacon of hospitality. Employees look classy in vests, dresses, and blouses. Even more gorgeous are the drinks. My lemon twist is long and fragrant. The bartenders chatter lovingly with life gossip – someone they know is pregnant. I order a Peace Treaty (manzanilla, dry white vermouth, maraschino, orange bitters).
Signature drinks all sound mindfully curated without over-complication. Menus are kept in a pocket folder and well laminated. Each menu is one sided – cocktails, wine, sipping spirits, food. The pocket also includes an adorably kitschy fill-in-the-blank postcard. after the ingredient description of each cocktail is a one-line taste description. The Peace Treaty is slated to be a dry layered aperitif. It is. The lemon twist enhances the floral elements and accents it with a citrus zip. The drink causes me to revere the twist as an ingredient, not just a garnish.
Classy and approachable, Dear Irving is good for small groups, dates, business cocktials, and an homage to the prohibition era.