Beneath the Brooklyn Heights bistro Chez Moi, sits this much-less-quaint, Marie Antoinette–inspired speakeasy designed after the her private chambers at the Château de Versailles. While the service (20 minutes to get a drink) is far from the royal treatment, Le Boudoir makes up for those faux pas with historical thrills, channeling its audacious queen with silver-plated chalices, neoclassical paintings and even a doorknob lifted from Marie’s actual bedroom.
Created by Franky Marshall (the Dead Rabbit), cocktails err on the side of excessive, but what else would you expect? Too-rich sips include the Dauphin, which has an almond- and coconut-milk base shot with absinthe and chili liqueur. It’s liquid dessert, served chilled and wedged inside a bowl of ice the pebbled cubes of which have a nasty habit of flying everywhere. A refreshing reprieve comes courtesy the Jardin Royale, which softens blanco tequila, La Quintinye extra dry vermouth and pamplemousse liqueur with lavender soda.
The dimly lit, 55-seat watering hole succeeds as a speakeasy because you actually feel as if you’re hiding. The entrance to the intimate lounge is disguised by a bookshelf that is a replica of one from the late queen’s library. (Tip: Don’t try to exit the same way you walked in; the owners might threaten you with the guillotine—and not the cocktail version.)
Lavished in plush red-velvet banquettes, gilded mirrors and castle-like sconces, the opulent parlor feels authentic. In fact, if Marie herself were a boozehound (we already know she was nuts about cake), it’s easy to imagine her opulent ghost haunting the bar’s bathroom, a duplicate of her private powder room—hopefully, with her head still attached.