Speakeasy’s are trending these days as many bars and pubs are trying to create – ore re-create – the the legendary drinking venues of the 1920s and ‘30s. Nobody does it better than Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington, D.C., whose downstairs Speakeasy serves specialty drinks to guests at only a few tables. The Apothecary, located within Pizza Craft in Fort Lauderdale’s reinvigorated Himmershee neighborhood, is another terrific Speakeasy that pays homage to the old time drinking establishments.
In West Palm Beach, there is 215 Speakeasy, located above Dorrian’s Red Hand Irish pub . The venue gets its name from its location (215 Clematis Street) and is a great getaway to taste the custom-made drinks of Vincent Toscano, one of South Florida’s top bartenders.
There are no TV’s are 215 Speakeasy (plenty of those downstairs at Dorrian’s), just darkly-lit some tables and booths, along with a movie screen that shows vintage movies. On this particular Friday night, the screen held the classic comedy “Some Like It Hot,’’ starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis. It was a good complement to Toscano’s concoctions, my favorite of which is the Smoked Old Fashioned.
“A lot of people are beginning to discover upstairs,’’ said Dorrian’s owner Danny Dorrian. “Vincent makes awesome cocktails. He’s a trained chef, so he incorporates what he learned in cooking schools into his cocktails. You tell him what you want, and he’ll make it.’’
Make mine a double – with a basket of Dorrian’s fries.