The gents that brought us Turks and Frogs, a cozy wine bar on West 11th Street (and its big sister restaurant in Tribeca) have transformed the space that was once Cesar’s Laundry into an early 20th Century train car. The Orient Express, as the classic cocktail-centric bar is called, is decked out with dark wood, red leather and complimented with unique touches like antique luggage racks and vintage suitcases (the owner used to operate an antique store in the space next door that is Turks and Frogs).
The cocktail list seems to have taken a tip from nearby Employees Only with drinks that contain custom-made libations like apricot-infused cognac (for which they stuffed a Hennessy bottle full of dried apricots -- ”one at a time” sighs the bartender proudly -- although, she clarifies, they actually refill the bottle with better cognac) and all kinds of bitters. One drink made with a baffling combination of rum, bourbon and absinthe will surely start you on some kind of journey, for better or worse.
The menu is still in the works, but we are told it will feature dishes served on hot skillets thar are inspired by the 1,700 mile route of the Orient -- from Paris to Istanbul This could mean anything from wiener schnitzel and goulash to fondue and apple strudel ... so the opposite of “local” and “seasonal.” Which, actually, is kind of refreshing.
The Orient Express
West 11th between Greenwich Street and Washington Street.
Now in soft opening