The original Club Pegu was a British officers' club in Rangoon, back in the days when the sun never set on the Empire. Hand-carved wood and understated paper lamps create a timeless world, and take us back to an era when cocktails were the emperors of the bar. But this is not just a gin house with great lighting; Club Pegu is at the heart of the cocktail revolution, a reaction against flavored-vodka-slinging bartenders, those cowboys noir with the predictable tucked into their cartouches.
Mixologist Audrey Saunders is the vanguard of the New Cocktail Revolution, which combines tradition, art and the excesses of this current age. Fresh juices, chartreuse, Calvados, rare bitters are all here. The Revolution also raises the bar ever higher for those who seek something new, something extra-Cosmo.
New can be old, as in the Old Cuban, a champagne-based mojito, which satisfies many different tastes, all at the same time. And if what you ordered is not what your taste buds are looking for, each table has a tiny box containing four eyedroppers – lemon, lime, bitters and simple syrup - for personalized adjustments.
A short menu designed by chef Gavin Citron (of Citron) fits seamlessly into the concept, picking up on the Asian theme while going in new directions: Rangoon Crab Cakes, Sloppy Duck Sandwiches and the truly unique Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs are a few of the items currently offered.
The atmosphere is definitely upscale, without being stuffy, and since seating is first come, first serve there is none of that “VIP” non-sense that caters to the orange-colored and plastificated crowds that spoil many hot spots. Here, it is truly all about the cocktails, and they are magnificent, if not completely deserving of an Imperial stamp.
Telephone: (212) 473-7348
Address: 77 West Houston Street
Cross Streets Laguardia Place and Wooster Street
Hours And Additional Info
Specialty cocktails, $11 to $16
Small plates, $6 to $16.