Through a brown unmarked door on a West Village street and down some treacherous stairs lies a subterranean speakeasy known as Little Branch. A BarChick favourite, this is one of those rare places where you truly feel like you've been transported to another era, helped by the exposed cement flooring, corrugated steel ceiling and bartenders in braces chipping away at a huge block of ice behind the bar.
It's small, dark and romantic in here, despite the size they somehow manage to squeeze live jazz trios in most nights after 10pm. Seating is in cosy booths, and the cocktails are excellent, as you'd expect from a bar owned by the late, great Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey fame. What to order? We say leave yourself in the capable hands of the barmen, just tell them what takes your fancy and they'll do the rest.
Be warned, they don't accept plastic (you're in another era remember?), and it's a dangerous feat climbing back down those stairs after a cocktail-fuelled dash across the street to the nearest ATM, so plan ahead and bring cash. They don't take reservations, be prepared to line up during the usual busy times.