My normal bar of choice is 288 Bar on Elizabeth and Houston. During an out of town friend's visit however, I discovered a gem of a bar called Botanica. I'd walked by it and always assumed for some reason it would be a high end place inhabited by jerks. I'm happy to report I was wrong. First off, there is something inherently attractive about basement bars. I guess I harbor the hope that they are really opium dens in disguise, plus they feel secret, no matter how many other people are there concurrently. The happy hour is great and the bartenders oddly friendly. Most importantly, the crowd was agreeable. Note: My visits to the bar have been during the week.
I instantly felt comfortable on the well-worn stools. How comfortable you ask? So comfortable, I felt man enough to order a drink called the Ginger Yum Yum (simple syrup, fresh ginger, vodka and soda - it's refreshing, but you will absolutely not be able to have more than one). Thankfully though it wasn't presented in a martini glass.