Eat, Drink, and Smoke at Nat Sherman’s Secret Lair

Asthmatics, teetotalers, and dieters need not apply. Photo: Photo:Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Nat Sherman is still fuming about the city’s assault on smoking. Its phone message even takes a dig at the Man: “Your freedom of choice, often denied to you as a smoker, can be exercised here by choosing from the following menu.” But living well is the best revenge, and so Sherman plans on opening up the Johnson Club Room in the third week in February, on the bottom floor of its new location at 12 East 42nd Street. You'll need to be a member eventually, but you will be able to pay the dues as you go for the first few months.

In addition to clouds of delicious smoke, the private lounge will offer up a banquet of classic New York prepared foods: smoked fish from Russ & Daughters, salumi from Salumeria Bellese, Murray’s cheeses, Yonah Schimmel’s knishes, and more. And of course, you’ll want to be able to sip a few cordials with your cigars, pipes, cigarettes, and cigarillos afterward, so there will be plenty of liquor available. If the city is attacked Cloverfield style, this is where we want to be. Actually, this is where we want to be under most circumstances.