After a visit to Crif Dogs & Please Don’t Tell, I continued my East Village speakeasy crawl at Angel’s Share. The name comes from the splash of wine in each wine bottle that sommeliers sometimes keep for themselves — the angel’s share, as it is called.
Like other speakeasies, this one is hard to find. The tiny number 6 above the door is the only hint of an address. It’s not even immediately apparent that you can eat here.
Go up the stairs, and you’re plunged into a Japanese restaurant called Village Yokocho. The entrance to Angel’s Share is behind an unmarked wooden door. A hostess escorts you to the bar or a table, and as at other speakeasies, they will not accommodate you unless there is a vacant seat.
In 2002, New York called Angel’s Share the city’s best date bar, but I found the space charmless, the lighting too bright and unkind, the servers unfriendly. Even the menu seemed a bit shopworn.
I later spoke to a beverage director who has no interest in any East Village bars. He said, “I have no idea why Angel’s Share is mentioned in the same breath as PDT or Death & Co.”
I ordered a Cousin Mary, a cousin to the Bloody Mary, with cucumber, black pepper & garlic infused vodka, olive juice, onion vinegar, celery salt, and a garnish of olive & pearl onions.
In less time than it took me to write all that in my iPhone, the drink appeared. Actually, I had no more than glanced away for a few second. Clearly, it was pre-made, and poured from a pitcher. Not bad, but you can get a Bloody Mary anywhere.
Angel’s Share (6 Stuyvesant Street, east of Third Avenue, East Village)