The Citiblog

First Look at Veerays, a New Roaring '20s Speakeasy in Midtown
June 14, 2024, 1:24.10 am ET



If you blink you might miss it with its blacked out windows and no sign to speak of. This is Veerays, a modern day speakeasy with an Indian twist, located at 213 East 45th St in Midtown. A member of the team was kind enough to invite us in for a sneak peek. And we are glad we did.

It was family and friends night at Veerays, the time when restaurants try to work out any kinks with food service before the official opening set for Monday, June 17th.

Michelin-starred Chef Hemant Mathur and his partners are overseeing the project. Mathur already operates the popular Veeray da Dhaba, a laid back spot, meant to resember a Punjabi truck stop. Veerays veers off into a more upscale direction, a time when gangsters and flappers ruled the roost. Large curvy banquettes with tufted red velvet set the tone, perfect for sinking into with a cocktail (or two). Artwork and mirrors line the wood-paneled walls while brass fixtures with small orbs let off just the right amount of light to give the space its sexy feel.

The gangster image comes into play with signature cocktails including 'Machine Gun' Kelly (tequila, lime juice, grenadine, bitters), 'Lucky' Luciano (rye whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice, grenadine), along with the ‘Bugsy’ Siegel (gin, sweet vermouth, Fernet-Branca) and the Al Capone (bourbondm sugar, bitters) under the moniker “Giggle Water." Each drink comes with a personalized message like "Take a sip and let the mystery unfold," and "As smooth as Maron Brando's voice and as strong as his presence." Each drink conjuring up images of the roaring '20s.

Food is also served retro style with dishes like The Don’s Lamb Chops with marble potatoes and pear chutney, Illegal Pheasant served tandoori style, and Millionaire Moilee with sea bass swimming in coconut curry.

Veerays is everything you don’t expect from an Indian restaurant with the exception of the exciting flavors. We left truly impressed, and judging by the hospitality we received, we think you will be to.