Late-Night Table at Apothéke: $1,000. Flaming Absinthe Shots: Priceless?

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The reservation line at Apothéke is currently open from noon to 6 p.m. at 212-406-0400, but don't think the booking policy is as democratic as at, say, PDT: From 6 p.m. till 10 p.m., you can reserve a table for free, but after 10 p.m. they’re only available to friends of the house or to those willing to pay what the ownership told us was “a minimum charge.” So what, exactly, is that charge? Well, Black Napkin was given a quote of $1,000. Gadzooks! That's a lot of $14-plus cocktails. Of course none of this matters if you have a VIP key to the hidden entrance — as of last week the place was still working on them, so you may still have a chance of showing up at 6 p.m. and charming your way into one.

Update: Apothéke writes in again to clarify its door policy: "We don't have a table minimum, but generally speaking, table reservations after 10 p.m. are VIP... Also we don't do bottle service, but we do have bottled infusions, like Gin infused with micro cilantro and Rum infused with Madagascan Vanilla. We also have several high end bottle of Champagnes and our magnums of Champagne start at $1000. Also, the doorman [usually James] does have discretion over the who is let in because we are such a small place."

Earlier: Does Apothéke Have a Hidden, Underground Entrance? It’s Chinatown, Jake