The descending staircase ends at a pulpit. The dim lights are accentuated by candlelabras. A taxidermied elk presides over a lounge area, and a jackalope winks from the entryway. A stained glass window is broken up with a pentagram shape. There is a serious vibe inside Constantine, the new bar at Hotel Ivy. Behind the bar, there’s some impressive firepower—not just in terms of talent, led by mixmaster Jesse Held and bar chef Jeff Errkila, but also the tools, which include items like a roto vapor (as cool as it sounds).
However, before we get too precious, it’s worth noting that the massive bible of a drink menu includes throwback 80’s drinks like a twist on the Fuzzy Navel (here called a Treasure Trail). These guys clearly take what they do seriously, but aren’t afraid to have a little fun. Even lauded chef Mike “YC” DeCamp, who’s at the helm of upstairs restaurant Monello, gets in on the wink-and-nudge frivolity by making a Pop Tart for the food menu.
My current drink obsession is the Aged to Perfection. An aromatic mix of tart lingonberries, thyme-flavored Farigoule, Cinco de Flora, and oak-aged Citadelle that’s finished with a splash of seltzer. What could be overbearing or heavy is actually light with a balance of sweet and smoky syrup, plus just enough effervescence to keep it fun—kind of like Constantine itself, come to think of it.