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Food & Drink

Best Speakeasy 

Manifesto

Let's face it: Prohibition has been over for a long time. But there's an undeniable romance in the notion of the clandestine drink. The New York Times-lauded Manifesto is truly underground — it occupies the dungeonlike space beneath the restaurant 1924 Main. In keeping with the speakeasy theme, the bar's entrance is a nondescript alley door downwind of whatever trash bags have accumulated nearby. Drinkers buzz their way in, where they're greeted by bar owner Ryan Maybee. Anyone is welcome at Manifesto, but rules of conduct do apply. Cell phones must be silenced, for example, and gentlemen are banned from brazen come-ons. "If you must, ask the bartender to send her a drink on your tab, and she will let the bartender know if it's OK for you to join her," the menu instructs. It's gimmicky, but there's a great reason to play along: the alcoholic ambrosia that Maybee and his staff mix from scratch. The bar's addictive custom drinks incorporate spirits with such ingredients as juniper berries, Shatto milk and pureed squash. One taste of the Girl From Cadiz, and you'll understand why she costs $11.

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