Here's a place that has more history than we have space. In fact, space itself is at a premium at this upstairs steakhouse, former speakeasy, but eating elbow-to-elbow with other dedicated diners is an experience that will truly make you feel thrown back to the era of Legs Diamond, bootleg gin and platinum molls.
Climbing the stairs, you'll be confronted by a woman in a coat-check room about the size of a telephone booth; she looks like a mouse in a story book, nestled among the wool and fur. Be careful opening the door to the restaurant, as a waiter (most likely a middle-aged man in a black tie) may be blocking the entry to pour milk or coffee at the stand just to the left. The bar is in the front of the building, the kitchen dead center, and the dining room in the back.
If you arrive without a reservation, you may wind up sitting at the bar, where you can sample a single malt Scotch or sip on a martini, share observations with a lone businessman from the midwest who is digging into a t-bone. Once you sit down to eat, the restaurant's size is an asset -- you become part of the scene, and you get the feeling that the tables of raucous groups of men mixing business talk with tales of penalties for icing the puck, of couples engrossed in close conversation, of middle-aged foursomes of portly men and their well-coiffed wives, are people who are in on the secret. The secret is no longer something high-proof in a teacup. The secret is simply a good -- no, great -- meal, nothing fancy, nothing fussy. A straightforward crabmeat appetizer or a chopped vegetable salad, shrimp cocktail, and steak. Of course you can order the salmon or the chicken, the chops or the scampi. But the steak is king, with a side of spinach and some frizzled onions. And its proportions are legendary.