It's a brilliant way to take an otherwise unusable, or at least undesirable space and make it into a chic hot spot: Speakeasy!
Sasha Petraske's Little Branch is similar in atmosphere to previous pick, The East Side Company Bar due to the candle light and absence of windows. Both spaces fair well in such romantic darkness because with the lights on, you can tell, the space doesn't look quite as beauteous–like a bad one night stand (I am told).
Furthering the speakeasy appeal are waiters in old fashioned hats and suspenders but, before you snicker, totally the kind of people that can pull it off, and a tiny jazz band that never gets too rowdy or obnoxiously loud. By tiny I mean only two guys playing, not the Flea Circus from Tex Avery.
Of course the main attraction at these places are the perfectly crafted cocktails. I was glad this menu differed from the others because I got to try two new superb creations: a yummy gingery cocktail, and a gin-based lightly citrus refreshment. Even Jim enjoyed a cocktail with his gutsy “bartender's choice” order which resulted in a Chicago Fizz, a frothy and yummy concoction that even prompted the perpetual beer drinker to order another.
Sasha Petraske's empire began with the restricted Milk and Honey (Branch does away with the phone-in policy, but does keep the golden rule posted in the bathroom: “no star fucking”). His empire continues to grow and if each offering is as remarkable, you will hear no complaints from me.