here’s the thing about anticipation: it rarely lives up to the hype. ever since my initial visit to tavern law last winter, i’d been itching to make my way past their padded door and into this upstairs speakeasy getaway (aka #25 on gq’s list of best cocktail bars in america). while circumstances should have granted me entrance months before my actual arrival, we’ll chalk it up to fate that i finally got buzzed up thanksgiving weekend. this was the first speakeasy i’d been to that didn’t have a menu (not that i needed one, but it’s nice to see some initiative), and the bartender doubled as our server, which made for lengthy waits of service. the size of our party resulted in seating at the front parlour (rather than in the main bar area), and while i was never very good with scientific theorems, i’m pretty sure there is a direct correlation between the proximity to a bartender and the relishing of his craft. but let’s get down to the drinks…meh. my jewish advisor requested a sidecar, at which point, the bartender retorted, “do you want a sidecar, or something like a sidecar?” ever the witty one, she clarified that she wanted a sidecar, otherwise she would have ordered something else. i granted free license for a series of fernet drinks, every one less palatable than the last. maybe my taste buds were having an off day, or perhaps i was feeling picky, but i’d prefer an open seat downstairs to an over-hyped reservation upstairs, for exclusivity warrants excellence, which was not on the menu that night.