There are a lot of places to get a drink in NYC, and working there for a while I have found some amazing spots that really have some personality. Out of all the bars I visited, the Dead Rabbit was by far my favorite. Nestled in the Financial District, this hidden gem is great if you are checking out Wall Street and the Bull, the 9/11 Memorial, the Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park or the Statue of Liberty. They are even open for lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends, so if you do not want to be out to 4am, you can still enjoy this place.
When you walk into this place the first decision you will need to make is whether or not you want to sit upstairs or on the main floor. I love the Parlor upstairs personally because you can sit in a booth and it’s much easier to have a conversation with a group of people (groups of six or less only though). You will also have the ability to look at the full cocktail list and your full dinner menu is also available only upstairs.That being said, if you do not mention to the doorman that you plan on eating dinner, he will not let you upstairs. I suggest tipping him, because he will make sure you get a nice booth if you do. There is usually a wait for the Parlor, but you can grab a drink in the Taproom until your seats are ready.
Now that you are at your seat, the host will serve you communal punch in a tea cup. To be honest all I remember is that there is Gin in it and that I liked it, so give it a try. Deciding on a drink can take some time, with a bar menu that is broken up into the four seasons to help you decide between the 72 cocktails they offer. I suggest reading about each season and then selecting which one best fits you. Once you do that it will narrow down your options, which will help you decide in under an hour. You can also order spirits, beer, and wine and believe me, they have tons of options for those as well. They also offer flights of Irish Whiskey, which feature five different brands and ages, Yum! So many choices, so little time.
Once you order your first drink (please order a different one each time) read the bar menu they give you. This book contains the story of the area and the bar specifically and the memorabilia is just beautiful. This place is straight out of the Gangs of New York movie. It is right in the heart of the 5 Points District and was even a Speak Easy during prohibition. Then look around at the history you are sitting in and appreciate that this is the real NYC. There are bars that have skyline views or bright lights and loud music, but this is a real NYC pub. If you want to drink like a local this is the place. Believe me I understand going to those other places, and I will tell you where to go for those as well, but believe me this is a must visit.
With your drink in hand, now you have to decide what to order for dinner. This may seem like an easy task, but once you see the delicious menu you will see why it can be difficult. I suggest ordering a bunch of small plates. Here are my suggestions: Lobster Devil Eggs, Poached Shrimp Cocktail, Scotch Egg, Mini Lamb Burgers, Cheese and Charcuterie Plate, and Crab Cakes. If you want a large plate may I suggest either the Fish and Chips or Shepherd’s Pie. And dessert, you should get the Bourbon Pecan Bread Pudding and Chocolate Mousse Cake.
All that is left now is to enjoy the company you are with and this beautiful historic bar.
Location: 30 Water Street, NYC
Tips: There is going to be a wait Thursday-Saturday night, but tipping the doorman will cut down on that. Make sure and order a different drink every time, I know the first one you ordered will be delish, but others will be as well.
Must: Mini Lamb Burgers, Cheese and Charcuterie Plate, and the Sweet Talker drink.
Pass: Trying to eat in the taproom. There just is not space on the small pub tables for that much.