113 Saint Marks Pl, New York, NY | Directions 1000940.727115 -73.983717
Neighborhoods: Downtown, East Village
Is it worth the wait? For the drinks, perhaps not, now that you can get an equally lovely, inventive cocktail many places in the East Village. But for the warm, relaxed, civilized atmosphere, not-deafening sound level, and supercomfortable seats combined with the delicious cocktails, yes, PDT is worth every minute spent waiting outside that phone booth. Note the very unique and/or exclusive bottles on the bar and try some new things. Bartenders are professionals here.
The house cocktails are world class at this most elaborately secretive of all New York speakeasies. But I go there to have perfect Manhattans, Sazeracs, and Vieux Carre's.
One of the best bars in New York – Most of the reviewers that have panned PDT are simply looking for something else. What PDT is is that it is a serious bar with serious drinks on the same level as Pegu Club, Death & Co., Milk & Honey and Little Branch (not necessarily ranked in that order). For my money, only Death & Co. and Little Branch are comparable. However, neither accepts reservations and the interior of Little Branch is a little claustrophobic. The drinks at PDT are not inexpensive but at $12 they are also not outrageous, especially if one considers that they are carefully crafted by dedicated and very talented bartenders. The atmosphere is chill and the music never so loud that you have to shout to be heard. The bonus feature -- as many have pointed out -- are the hot dogs/burgers and fries from Crif Dogs, which are passed through a little hole in the wall between them. The speakeasy-esque entrance through the back of a phone booth and the stuffed animals on the wall -- including a mythical jackelope -- add to the overall clubby, cosy ambience.
Not for (most) college kids – The fact that its attached to a hot dog joint makes the secret entrance to an upscale bar much cooler. Going into Crif Dogs, you just have no idea. PDTs is definately not for the loud college crowd though that usually goes to Crif Dogs-- its atmosphere is conversational with a quiet diverse soundtrack in the background. The drinks are definately on the expensive side at $12. They wouldn't be worth it alone for that price, but you're also pretty guaranteed a seat in a chill atmosphere. So you get what you pay for the in the end. The hot dogs come straight from crif dogs so they are excellent too. I don't see why people complain about the service. The server was polite and quickly made our orders.
Its a 'mature' sort of bar so don't expect anything crazy. Its not the place to pick up men/women, its better just to go chill with friends at a table or the bar.
Too Cool for School ! – OK, we get it there is a secret phone booth entrance.
But the bartenders attitude stinks like a bad hot dog weiner.
I tell you what guys .... ease up on the snotty attitude and save your
fancy mixology for when you are kissing dale degroffs weiner.
MAY stay open but continue the way your going and IT'S OVER
A modern-day speakeasy for imbibers in the know (with a hankering for gourmet hot dogs). – This initials stand for "please don't tell" at this hidden lair, which slakes the city's thirst for impeccably made cocktails and Prohibition-era intrigue. Patrons enter through a "secret" entrance inside the St. Mark's wiener joint, Crif Dogs, to sample a drink menu devised by Jim Meehan (Pegu Club, Gramercy Tavern). Most of the room's light emanates from the glowing bar top, which attractively illuminates exposed brick walls hung with taxidermy and crescent-shaped leather banquettes.
The entrance is great, but that's about it. – Much more trendy than I had expected.
I got a big kick out the entrance - I don't think you'd have any idea if you didn't know. Otherwise, there's not a whole lot to get excited about. The drinks are quite expensive (over $10) and not great , and there's very little seating. They only have four dogs on the menu, and it's really not the type of place you feel like having a hot dog in anyway. More like a mini bubble lounge than an east village classic.
Avoid – I don't really know why Crif Dogs chose to sell out like this, but it's a disappointment. Crif Dogs is the quintessential chill place, where you don't have to worry about rude service or what you're wearing. Admittedly, I first thought PDT was a cool idea. On the first weekend they were open, my friends and I dropped by to check it out. The door to PDT was open, so we followed a few other people in. A few tables were empty, so when a waitres/hostess finally came, I asked if they were reserved or if we could sit there. Instead of just answering my question, she yelled that they were full and that we shouldn't have even come in. We said the door had been open, and as she physically pushed us out she admitted that the door was out of her control, but we shouldn't have gotten through. My friend then said that this was bad service, and a bouncer walked by and growled that we should "get the hell out." HUGE disappointment. Being the first weekend open, we expected it to be packed, so the rudeness was just not necessary. The few minutes I got to look at the place, too, revealed that it really is nothing special. Plenty of other East Village bars offer the cool "secret bar" aspect, but have a lot more to offer. Hopefully by now they've gotten their act together, but if not, it's an unfortunate waste, because my view of Crif Dogs has definitely changed.
sub-par cocktails – If you make a reservation in advance like I did, you won't have trouble getting in. This is Crif Dogs after all. The atmosphere is nice... very loungey and chill. The music isn't turned up too loud so you can carry a conversation. The only weird things about this place were: (1) there were stuffed dead animals on the walls as decoration and (2) the bartenders appear to be dressed like crab fishermen. The bartenders do take their grand ole time making drinks. We waited 10 - 15 mins for our drinks to arrive at our table. We were all disappointed with our "specialty" cocktails. While they weren't terrible, there was nothing special about them at all. My friend ordered a drink with "orange bitters" ... I didn't realize that meant a sorry-looking orange peel thrown into a miniscule glass of gin. The bartenders do not know how to make a proper drink here. The waitress did not seem to have much knowledge of the drinks on the cocktail menu either. I would recommend going to Milk & Honey if you are into chill, speakeasy-type bars. You can get better specialty cocktails at Balthazar or Fr.Og in Soho.
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