My friend Noel (from my trip to Budapest!) was visiting from San Francisco, so I took it upon myself to take him to the coolest spots in the city. First up: my favorite speakeasy, Please Don’t Tell, in the East Village. It has a website, so you are allowed to tell, right?!
To get to PDT (what the cool kids call Please Don’t Tell), you first walk into Crif Dogs on St. Mark’s Place.
At first glance, it’s just a small, dingy hot dog shop. I went to PDT for the first time on a date, and I remember walking into Crif Dogs and thinking “Really?! He’s taking me here?!”
But don’t let the exterior fool you. On the left there is a red phone booth. You walk in, pick up the phone, and speak to the host of PDT. Then through the phone booth he will let you into the speakeasy, which is much cooler than the hot dog shop!
I had Noel speak to the host. I gave Noel very strict instructions that the password was “snickerdoodle” and he had to say that, and nothing else, when the host answered the phone. Then, once the host responded, they could discuss us entering PDT.
So Noel dutifully picked up the phone and said a confident “snickerdoodle!” to the host. And the host paused, and responded “…ok?”
After the phone call, Noel wanted to know why I was laughing so hard. So I admitted that there was no password for PDT, and he just said “snickerdoodle” to the confused host for no reason. And it was absolutely hilarious!
Once inside, the vibe is completely different than the hot dog shop. It’s dark, cool and “super chill” as Noel would say.
This guy is right next to the bar, and the first time I was here I sat right next to him. I kept getting my hair caught in his paws! It was as if the bear was creepily stroking my hair!
PDT is known for its unique cocktails, and Noel and I ordered for each other. He picked All That Jasmine for me (the drink on the left), which has Plymouth gin, lemon juice, Singani 63, Averell Damson gin, jasmine and egg white. It’s my favorite drink at PDT, so he did a good job.
I chose the Shark for him (the drink on the right), mostly because of the name. I had no idea that it would look so tropical and girly, that was just a bonus! The Shark was good though, and has butter-infused Bacardi Silver rum, wray and nephew overproof rum, frangelico, blue curaçao, lemon and pineapple juice, cream and Bittermens elemakule tiki bitters.
Clearly Noel was thrilled about the Shark’s appearance. At least he liked the taste!
You can also order hot dogs (I assume from Crif Dogs) while at PDT. This is the 2Pok Dog, which is a deep-fried hot dog with a pok pok wing glaze, crispy garlic, roasted chile mayo, pickled daikon and carrots, lettuce, cucumber and cilantro. I guess Crif Dogs is classier than I initially imagined!
For round two, we again ordered for each other. I chose the Benton’s Old Fashioned for Noel (the drink on the left), which has bacon-infused four roses bourbon, grade b maple syrup and angostura bitters. Benton’s Old Fashioned looks much more manly, but it turns out Noel doesn’t like bacon (who doesn’t like bacon?!), so he didn’t like this drink as much as the Shark.
He picked the Cardinal for me (the drink on the right), and it was very strong. It has Tanqueray 10 gin, casoni aperitivo, vermouth del professore, grapefruit and lemon jice, and contratto fernet. Noel didn’t mind it being so strong and finished it for me!
Now can you see why PDT is one of my favorite speakeasies in the city? Trust me, you’ll love it too.
To find out more about PDT, click here.
And don’t forget: the password is “snickerdoodle!”