Maraya Cigars: Smoking up on the Lower East

11/18/2010 11:20 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
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Taking a simple pleasure to the next level is no small feat, unless you're Little Feat, in which case your unique blend of rock/ blues/ jazz/ country/ bayou/ R&B is totally effortless! Attempting to raise the pleasure of blended tobacco: Maraya Cigars.

Gutting the former Guss' Pickles storefront and affecting a minimalist gallery vibe with exposed brick, steel beams, two large mahogany humidors, and freestanding display cases, MC's dedicated to advancing the idea that a cigar of high enough quality can be considered an art form, though Clinton would tell you that argument won't hold up in court. Like a McSorley's of smoking, there are currently two proprietary blends avail, both featuring Dominican/Nicaraguan tobacco, hand-made in the DR in cooperation with a third gen Cuban plantation owner, and avail in three shapes: the hefty Toro, the blunt-like Perfecto, and the conical Torpedo, which is actually tidier than a Churchill, as those get even more bombed. Of the blends, the lighter's the Piano, a smoother joint aimed at the casual fumist, while its counterpart's the Tango, which despite its lighter, Ecuadorian wrapper, has a more robust smoke and's intended for an "initiated smoker", who clearly has gone through the requisite haze-ing.

While not a lounge, they'll gladly punch your end and give you a light, but, hoping to give cigar enthusiasts a good name, they ask you to be considerate by "actively not afflicting" others with your smoke, a request that will only work if you're Willin'.

Maraya Cigars: 87 Orchard St, btwn Broome & Grand St; Lower East Side; 917.664.5645