Shaken or Stirred?
Meet The Lantern's Keeper
Under the tutelage of libation artists such as Meaghan Dorman and Milk & Honeyâ€™s Sasha Petraske, Theo Lieberman is carving a name for himself among New Yorkâ€™s gilded mixolo-gists, past and present. Currently jazzing up Lanternâ€™s Keep in the Iroquois Hotel, itâ€™s all about quality, familiarity with ingredients and consistently attacking new challenges for this Midtown maven.
Lanternâ€™s Keep, the Iroquoisâ€™s new cocktail lounge, opened a year ago in what used to be Triompheâ€™s private din-ing room. The lighting is dim. The vibe, turn-of-the-century Paris. The music, aÂ medley of Memphis soul, Â rhythm andÂ blues, and jazz. The menu, a model of sophistication and a far cry from those of the tourist traps flanking this stylistic stronghold on its surrounding blocks. On his day off, and on the wrong side of the bar, we found head bartender Theo Lieberman sipping slowly from aÂ glass of straight vermouth served â€œon a rockâ€â€”a perfectly clear two-inch ice cube, cut by a Clinebell icemaker and delivered from Queens. Clad in BuddyHolly glasses and custom-made Nikes with â€œDaquiriâ€ on one shoe and â€œNe-groniâ€ on the other, he is 23 but looked midway through his teensâ€¦ and then he opened his mouth.
â€œThe â€˜Stay Up Lateâ€™ is a variation on a Tom Collins, from the Stork club in1946,â€ he said about one of 25 drinks on a menu he designed with Meaghan Dorman, who founded the bar and serves as its consultant. â€œForty-six? Was it â€™46?â€ he asked noone in particular, swirling his vermouth. It was.â€œAnd the Jimmy Roosevelt is from Baker â€” CharlesÂ Baker.â€That would be Charles H. Baker Jr., a man who was born 150 years before Mr. Lieberman and penned The Gen-who wandered over, nursing a copper cup of the Jungle Bird (black strap rum, pineapple juice, Campari, limeÂ juice). â€œItâ€™s refreshing to introduce people to drinks again.â€
—Living There Magazine
The Lantern's Keep
Monday through Friday 5pm to Midnight
Saturday 6pm to 1am