Orchid Lounge - Closed

500 E. 11th St.
New York, NY 10003
212-254-4090
The focal point of Orchid Lounge isn't the decorathough the profusion of silky red pillows, cherry blossoms, and Japanese paper lanterns doesn't hurt. Nor is it the infused vodkas (including ginger, vanilla, and cinnamon), the inventive cocktails with ingredients like fresh Thai basil and lychees, or the well-chosen range of sakes and wines. The real draw to this swank Asian-inspired lounge is a giant gong. Whenever the bartender hits it with a giant mallet and howls, "Free shots!" you know you're in business. This happens on a regular basisaoften several times in a single night. The shots are generously sized samples of the signature cocktails; on a recent night, everyone got some of the spicy, sweet Ginger Candy ($8)acomplete with tiny but potent chunks of fresh ginger. Who knows how long it'll last, but for now, you can finally feel like you aren't getting ripped off every time you go out.

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