The latest addition to the Bowery’s already-booming cocktail lounge circuit, Lumos NYC has its finger on the pulse of what’s really important –potent cocktails only paralleled in strength by the city’s premier burlesque dancers. While this venue’s staff is passionately knowledgeable and the performances were compelling, time was the true star of the evening. Lumos NYC invites city dwellers to time travel down a nondescript stairwell into a hush-hush nightlife underworld uniting the realms of Shanghai, 1930’s speakeasy lounges and five-century old cocktail recipes--shaken, not stirred.
What to drink.
Lumos NYC serves up high-end entertainment and tapas, no doubt. However, it’s no secret that the selling point, attracting city-dwelling connoisseurs and provocateurs alike, is the exotic appeal of baijiu. Despite its 5000 year reign as China’s celebratory liquor of choice, it isn’t until now by way of Lumos NYC that the Western world is introduced to cocktails featuring this high-proof spirit. Shockingly enough, this is first baijiu bar in the United States. That said, extend your booze-enthused palette with some of our favorites such as the Good Luck pictured below(or atleast what was left of it) and the Lychee Martini (also pictured below). But the real question on everyone’s mind, what’s the buzz like? Whiskey tends to be a recipe for disaster and a red-wine tipsy may lead to dramatics and phone calls to your ex but we must admit, despite its potency, bajiu offers a lucid buzz perfect for that golden post-dinner-pre-nightclub hour of indulgence. The true happy hour. Simply put, we predict that Lumos is where New Yorkers will be this Autumn to quench their thirst for the ultimate culturally-rich intoxication.
What to eat.
A sucker for small-plate dining, I may be somewhat biased. Nonetheless, Lumos NYC keeps their tapas menu just how we like it--short and sweet. Our favorite was undisputedly the “Mitten” Crab Cake sliders, dressed in Shanghai-style spice sauce wedged between two mini brioche buns, which provided a playful palette infusion that was ultra-savory. Albeit I don’t make a habit of ordering seafood from underground cocktail bars, this piquant dish is a justified exception.
What to see.
This underground Imperial palace is a newfound personal favorite any night of the week, from after-work cocktails that get the job (and then some) done to a sultry date night of speakeasy savoir faire. However, this venue spices up its otherwise underwhelming vibe by inviting guests to its state-of-the-art performance space. A shotgun-style venue, one will make their way through the narrow bar-room, through velvet curtains to an intimate oasis, a playground of endowed performers and late-night players. Further encapsulating the speakeasy vibe, here you'll find a weekly rotating line-up of live entertainment with the most promising residency being that of Manhattan’s most tantalizing mistress, Calamity Chang and her troupe of ingénues as they seize the night, blurring the lines between provocative and poetic – one tassel at a time.
Moral of the Story.
Basically, Lumos NYC serves to remind us that any Friday cocktail reservation is dull in comparison to one made here. That said, as much as we hate to inconvenience you, this restaurant takes “drop everything and do this instead” precedence over your current after-work plans. While we’ve already been to this restaurant three time since its opening and only one of which for the purpose of writing this review, don’t take our word for it. Click here to make reservations and memories tonight at Lumos NYC and be sure to let them know that your friends at Joonbug.com sent you.