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Mayahuel - More Great Cocktails on East 6th St


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#1 weinoo

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 06:36 AM

The other night, a friend and I stopped by the long-rumored (and now "exposed" on Eater's Plywood Report - amongst other blogs) new cocktail lounge, Mayahuel - co-owned by mixologist Phil Ward and restaurateur Ravi DeRossi, a co-owner of Phil's former home, Death & Co.

Inside, it's a great looking space, dark and low-ceilinged and one can already hear the fretting about getting in, because it's small - the bar itself seats 7, and I'm guessing the total capacity is close to 50, though please, no quotes on that. No word yet on whether reservations will be taken or whether it will be first-come, first-serve, so we'll all just have to wait and see....for now it's friends and family, as they say.

As reported elsewhere, this place is all about tequila - though not to worry, I saw some brown booze and gin too. But Mr. Ward loves him some tequila (and many of us have tasted his concoctions at other establishments), and the drink I tried, the Loop Tonic, was dangerously delicious. I say dangerous only because for some strange reason I think of tequila as getting me more "looped" than say, rye...maybe it was all of those shots I did back in the day; who knows?

Anyway, look for an "opening" date sometime in the first week of May - maybe. And in the East Village, for those of us who may be shut out of PDT or Death & Co., Mayahuel might just add a sigh of relief, or at least someplace where we may be able to settle in for a nice drink or two.
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#2 daisy17

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:57 AM

I had the pleasure of stopping by last night. Phil's menu is spectacular - tequila and mezcal are prominently featured in both shaken and stirred cocktails, along with a few punches, tea infusions, and beer cocktails. Tequila is taken to a whole new level here - if tequila still means "way too many shitty margaritas in Cancun on college spring break" to you, well, it's time to move on. You've come to the right place, and you're in very good hands.

The space is small as weinoo pointed out, but it is a beaut - dark wood, Mexican tile, exposed beams, funky chandeliers. The upstairs is bathed in red light, the walls mostly brick with patches of old wallpaper, upholstered banquettes. This is one sexy room. You don't need to sit at the bar when you've got a room like this upstairs. (Well, I might, but if you go upstairs I can get a seat at the bar.)

I had an Italian Inquisition (tequila, amaro, solerno, bitters) and a Watermelon Sugar (delicious spicy rim, has summer written all over it) and tasted a few others - all were terrific, well balanced cocktails. They'll also have an extensive food menu from what I understand - still being played with.

Mayahuel opens early May.

#3 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 07:24 AM

  And in the East Village, for those of us who may be shut out of PDT or Death & Co., Mayahuel might just add a sigh of relief, or at least someplace where we may be able to settle in for a nice drink or two.

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Or maybe a third place to be shut out of.

#4 taion

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 07:36 AM

  And in the East Village, for those of us who may be shut out of PDT or Death & Co., Mayahuel might just add a sigh of relief, or at least someplace where we may be able to settle in for a nice drink or two.

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Or maybe a third place to be shut out of.

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Oh no, I guess we'll just all have to take 5 minute cab rides to M&H or Pegu or something. The horrors.

#5 BryanZ

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 03:44 PM

Very cool spot. Smaller than you might think. The multi-floor layout is kinda of deceiving, it's far from cavernous. Really liked the stained glass upstairs. Not sure if tables are going to be reservation-only, a la PDT, or just first-come, a la D&Co. I would imagine the latter.

Stylistically the drinks are similar to those at D&Co. Very, very tasty. A higher percentage of drinks with salty or savory notes than you find at other bars. Smoked Palomino is very good, flavorful and refreshing and not too boozy. The Shifty (or somesuch name) is an interesting beer cocktail, very heavy on the spiced salt. Didn't get much of the advertised pineapple in the infused mezcal but did get some of the smoke and lime. This and the lapsang tea cocktail were very refreshing drinks on a warm night.

Still in F&F right now, but I hope it doesn't get too crowded. They should do a good job with the door, so I'm not too worried.

#6 Sneakeater

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 07:40 PM

Let's also give a shoutout to the Loop Tonic. Another great refresher.

#7 weinoo

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 03:40 AM

Let's also give a shoutout to the Loop Tonic.  Another great refresher.

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Yes, that was the first drink I tried here. I can't believe you actually got in.
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#8 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 08:54 AM

Don't imagine it was easy.

#9 kathryn

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 08:58 AM

A little birdie told me they will allow standing downstairs but not upstairs, so it will be a bit easier to get into than D&C or PDT.
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#10 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:22 AM

Having to stand isn't much better than not getting in.

Weather Up (up the street from my apartment in Brooklyn) sucks in any event -- but it's so crowded on prime nights, with all the standees they let in, that it wouldn't be worth going to even if it didn't suck.

Serious Cocktail Places are victims of their own success. We can't complain about it. But we certainly can whine.

Edited by Sneakeater, 20 April 2009 - 09:25 AM.


#11 Chris Amirault

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:25 AM

Any reports on specific drink ingredients?
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#12 taion

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:44 AM

Don't imagine it was easy.

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I thought you were one who was not turned away lightly! :wink:

#13 weinoo

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:04 AM

Any reports on specific drink ingredients?

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The one drink I had was the Loop Tonic. Tequila bianco, green chartreuse, vermouth, lime, and celery bitters.
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#14 daisy17

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:07 AM

Since my first post I've also tried the Pequeno Cabeza, which i loved - blanco, grapefruit infused vermouth, amaro and maraschino. I wasn't paying attention to the details though - I don't even know what kind of amaro it was. Oh, the shame!

#15 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 11:00 AM

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Eater links ONE FUCKING POST . . . .

#16 weinoo

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 09:16 AM

Today's NYT times has a full-blown article on mezcal and tequila. Additionally, the Diner's Journal has a Q & A with Phil. And, I might add, a nice pic too.
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#17 gastrodamus

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 03:50 PM

went last night. love the space. between my friend and me, we sampled four cocktails: italian inquisition (reposado, punt e mes vermouth, averna and xocolatl mole bitters), mexicano (can't remember but i'm guessing reposado, punt e mes, club soda), selena fizz (blanco elderflower, grapefruit, lime, soda, egg white) and the pilot punch (blanco, jalapeño, cucumber, lime, garnished with mint). all four were well-executed, italian inquisition and mexicano being my favorites.

even at a glance, the menu separates itself from the rest of the cocktail scene, which obviously means it'll be perpetually mobbed. even so, i hope ravi and phil won't allow standing, especially since they'll be serving food.

Having to stand isn't much better than not getting in.

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agree 100%.

#18 taion

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 05:56 PM

I want to attach myself to the Loop Tonic and Italian Inquisition train – although I'd like to note that the actual components listed for the Italian inquisition were reposado, punt e mes, averna, solerno, and mole xocolatl bitters (both former descriptions were missing an ingredient!). I'm actually more of a fan of the speakeasy-style decor you get at most of the other cocktail places, but it is a pretty comfy space. Also had a sip of a friend's Cinquenta Cinquenta (basically what it sounds like, but infused with earl grey). The II was the real winner of the night, though; amazingly deep and complex, one of the tastiest and most mature drinks I've had in a while.

#19 daisy17

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 06:35 PM

The one drink I had was the Loop Tonic.  Tequila bianco, green chartreuse, vermouth, lime, and celery bitters.

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SOLID.

#20 spaetzle_maker

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 10:12 AM

Last night, I enjoyed the Smoked Palomino: amontillado sherry, mezcal, grapefruit, lime, salted rim. Perfectly balanced, deliciously smokey. Totally blew my mind and is probably now my favorite cocktail in nyc. Close contenders for favorite are the Watermelon Sugar and the Whoopsy Daisy.

#21 phlip

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 07:51 AM

Ok all you foodies have started our food program as well so please bring your egullets and feedback. Rest assured no standing. We thought about it but it just doesn't function smoothly and atmosphere just goes to poop. Thanks for all the props.

#22 WK2

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 07:04 AM

Ok all you foodies have started our food program as well so please bring your egullets and feedback. Rest assured no standing. We thought about it but it just doesn't function smoothly and atmosphere just goes to poop. Thanks for all the props.

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We visited Mayahuel last night. Didn't have too much trouble getting in - the fellow at the door led us to a small standing alcove near the umbrella depository first, but quickly got us over to the bar.

I'm probably the least knowledgeable person about cocktails in this thread, but I loved the drinks. The Italian Inquisition was fantastic - to be honest, it tasted a little like my favorite standard cocktail, the martinez. Laugh at me all you like. But I have to give my prize for the night to the Whoopsy Daisy, which is outrageously good, and the Division Bell(sp?), which I got when I asked the bartender for something with more pronounced mezcal. The DB reminds me of the Laphroiag based drinks I order sometimes at D&co - almost peaty.

We were starving, so dug into a quesadilla - although small, it was darned tasty. A nice combination of spicy and sweet (it's topped with mango,I think, though by that time I was getting a little shaky). Makes me excited to consider a more full menu.

So, one little complaint - if you could catch swine flu from air conditioning or a draught or whatever, I swear we would have caught it sitting at the bar right under the look-through to the top floor. I think the seats at the bar nearest the door don't have this problem. It was just pretty cold.

Edited by WK2, 02 May 2009 - 08:42 AM.


#23 mrud

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 01:58 PM

anyone have contact info? going to try wednesday night.

#24 weinoo

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 05:19 PM

Monday night - early - seats at the bar no problem. Tried at least 4 cocktails (only one a repeat), all well made, none by Phil, so the staff seems up to speed. The Whoopsy Daisy I could see being real trouble. And a taste of a drink that Phil was working on.

Big shout out to the bar snacks. Some very good chips came with guac, roasted red tomato salsa and green salsa - the perfect bar food to go along with these tequila based drinks. I don't say that lightly - something I think that's missing at Serious Cocktail Bars is serious cocktail bar snacks. Even if it's as something as simple as chips and salsas - well made, and they've increased your enjoyment; not well made, don't serve 'em. And the popcorn was good (and freshly popped) too.
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#25 Kent Wang

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 07:43 PM

The one drink I had was the Loop Tonic.  Tequila bianco, green chartreuse, vermouth, lime, and celery bitters.

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SOLID.

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What are the proportions for this?

I fiddled with it and got:

1.5 tequila (Milagro)
.5 dry vermouth (Noilly Prat old version)
.5 lime
.25 green chartreuse

I don't have celery bitters. Who makes it anyway?

Definitely tastes pretty good, but not mind-blowing. My proportions and the lack of celery bitters are probably at fault. I'll be in town at the end of June and will find out in person.

#26 MikeHartnett

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 06:29 AM

The Bitter Truth makes celery bitters. Not sure if others do commercially.

#27 daisy17

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 07:43 AM

The one drink I had was the Loop Tonic.  Tequila bianco, green chartreuse, vermouth, lime, and celery bitters.

View Post


SOLID.

View Post

What are the proportions for this?

I fiddled with it and got:

1.5 tequila (Milagro)
.5 dry vermouth (Noilly Prat old version)
.5 lime
.25 green chartreuse

I don't have celery bitters. Who makes it anyway?

Definitely tastes pretty good, but not mind-blowing. My proportions and the lack of celery bitters are probably at fault. I'll be in town at the end of June and will find out in person.

View Post


Maybe Phil will come by and tell us the right proportions/ingredients, but I suspect the kind of vermouth you'd use in this cocktail would make a significant difference. I think they're using Dolin but really could just be making that up.

#28 daisy17

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 05:12 PM

The one drink I had was the Loop Tonic.  Tequila bianco, green chartreuse, vermouth, lime, and celery bitters.

View Post


SOLID.

View Post

What are the proportions for this?

I fiddled with it and got:

1.5 tequila (Milagro)
.5 dry vermouth (Noilly Prat old version)
.5 lime
.25 green chartreuse

I don't have celery bitters. Who makes it anyway?

Definitely tastes pretty good, but not mind-blowing. My proportions and the lack of celery bitters are probably at fault. I'll be in town at the end of June and will find out in person.

View Post


Maybe Phil will come by and tell us the right proportions/ingredients, but I suspect the kind of vermouth you'd use in this cocktail would make a significant difference. I think they're using Dolin but really could just be making that up.

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BTW, I asked Phil - it's the Dolin dry.

#29 daisy17

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 05:34 AM

New York Times review of Mayahuel

#30 taion

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 06:45 AM

Are there really no margaritas? Not even the classic version?