The smallest things can pack the biggest wallop -- a spider bite can kill a man, and Christina Aguilera's powerful singing can make a man welcome it. For hyper-concentrated ostentation, hit the Eldridge.
E's a much-heralded, semi-private one-room lounge, camouflaged by a used bookstore facade stocked with Strand purchases, potentially flummoxing disheveled oldsters scouring for $1 copies of Into Thin Air. Except for the randomly filled bookshelves (Ernst Cassirer's The Philosophy of the Enlightenment, Harold McCracken's Roughnecks and Gentlemen: Memoirs of a Maverick, etc)the interior's ludicrously lux: wood-stamped concrete floors schelacked w/ gold flakes, carved wood ceiling and bar tiles, and a $650k glass-enclosed wall of unopened, gold-plated Armand de Brignac champagne -- notable for appearing in Jay Z's "Show Me What You Got" video, which the owners clearly took literally. Drinks run from boutique Euro brews (Italy's Baladin Nora, Belgium's Framboise), to champagnes (Dom, Jouette...), to custom cocktails, all named for LES streets (The Eldridge = Brignac/p.i.n.k vodka/Lychee; The Essex = Milagro Select Barrel Reposado/OJ/berries) -- except the "No. 27", which shouts out a pro-athlete shadow investor (could be Brandon Jacobs, could be Rogers Hornsby).
Contrary to previous plans, E will be open to the public seven days a week, but has a strict door policy "that reflects our size" -- so there's a decent chance you'll end up standing on the curb, an angry little thing pathetically bereft of wallop.