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Pegu Club


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#181 erha2

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 07:09 PM

What is the crowd like during the week?  If one shows up around 5:30 tomorrow (Wednesday) with only one other person, is it easy to get a seat?

Thanks.  KOBI

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yes, you and your companion will probably be the only people there. if i had to guess, you'd get 2 seats with no problem until 7ish.

#182 oakapple

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 03:57 AM

What is the crowd like during the week?  If one shows up around 5:30 tomorrow (Wednesday) with only one other person, is it easy to get a seat?

Thanks.  KOBI

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I walked in at around that time last Thursday, and I was the first customer.

#183 Kobi

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 05:56 AM

What is the crowd like during the week?  If one shows up around 5:30 tomorrow (Wednesday) with only one other person, is it easy to get a seat?

Thanks.  KOBI

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I walked in at around that time last Thursday, and I was the first customer.

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Great, thanks so much!!

#184 BryanZ

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 09:35 AM

Visited Pegu for the first time last night. Got one of the last big tables for my party of six shortly before 8 pm. Space is big, more mature than a lot of the other cocktail spots if lacking a bit in distinctive character. Very competent waitress service for my non-cocktailian friends.

Tried a bunch of my friend's drinks. The only I didn't like was actually the Pegu Club cocktail. Favorite was the Pisco Punch, a sweet drink but nice for the summer. On the drier side, really enjoyed the Kill Devil too.

A nice spot whose size probably makes it easier to get into than PDT and D&Co.

#185 adamru

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 08:33 PM

Even though I enjoyed Pegu Club so much in its first two years my loyalty's drifted down to B Flat and I hadn't been back in quite a while, it seems to have lost something. The menu's been reorganized and their food offerings cut in half to a single page. I passed on eating but just looking up this thread right now and at Oakapple's blog, the food presentation has become less refined too. And were the drinks always so expensive? All the cocktails on the menu are about $12, but I ordered a margarita at one point and it was $18. I didn't ask for any specific tequila and I just didn't expect that, I don't think any similar bar charges as much except for Bemelmans.

After ordering drinks our waitress had to come around again to confirm our order - it was wrong - then only one drink came. She knew our order but delivered two more tables their drinks before delivering my date hers which was just odd and water we requested never came even after two rounds of drinks did. Then a man I'm guessing was either security or a manager, dressed in a suit, watched closely over us as we paid and left but never asked us how everything was. (He looked like he was worried we'd just bail on the check. Who behaves that way? If you think a customer is exiting disappointed, find out why.) I'd never had such an odd, uncomfortable evening in an intimate place I used to enjoy so much. The place was little more than half full and there seemed no good explanation for it.

The good news however is the drinks were excellent, and I tried one of the best Gin Gin Mules I've had in quite a while.

#186 Scotttos

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 03:47 AM

Even though I enjoyed Pegu Club so much in its first two years my loyalty's drifted down to B Flat and I hadn't been back in quite a while, it seems to have lost something. The menu's been reorganized and their food offerings cut in half to a single page. I passed on eating but just looking up this thread right now and at Oakapple's blog, the food presentation has become less refined too. And were the drinks always so expensive? All the cocktails on the menu are about $12, but I ordered a margarita at one point and it was $18. I didn't ask for any specific tequila and I just didn't expect that, I don't think any similar bar charges as much except for Bemelmans.

After ordering drinks our waitress had to come around again to confirm our order - it was wrong - then only one drink came. She knew our order but delivered two more tables their drinks before delivering my date hers which was just odd and water we requested never came even after two rounds of drinks did. Then a man I'm guessing was either security or a manager, dressed in a suit, watched closely over us as we paid and left but never asked us how everything was. (He looked like he was worried we'd just bail on the check. Who behaves that way? If you think a customer is exiting disappointed, find out why.) I'd never had such an odd, uncomfortable evening in an intimate place I used to enjoy so much. The place was little more than half full and there seemed no good explanation for it.

The good news however is the drinks were excellent, and I tried one of the best Gin Gin Mules I've had in quite a while.

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Unfortunately table service is indeed a weakness, but it's a weakness most cocktail bars in pegu's circle suffer from. It's not 100% guaranteed but 99.9% of the time you'll have a much better experience at the bar. I understand sometimes sitting at the bar isn't really an option (it's too crowded, you have a party larger than 3, etc.) but if at all possible that's the way to go.

I was at Pegu a couple weekends ago and had a great experience. I found the drinks to be excellent as always and since the place was kinda empty I had a wonderful time talking to the bartender. These guys love what they do and when you get an opportunity to talk shop they really open up.

Regarding the 18 dollar Margarita. . . . .i'm not totally sure about that one, but I have ordered off menu drinks before and the prices have been all over the place (from $16-19), no explanation was given but I didn't ask either. I'm sure it has to do with what kind of booze they're using.

#187 Nathan

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 08:18 AM

I was at the bar last night...it's as good as ever IMO. some nice new drinks on the menu too. some empty seats when we arrived at 9:30/10. packed when we left around midnight.

#188 weinoo

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 09:59 AM

I was at the bar last night...it's as good as ever IMO.  some nice new drinks on the menu too.  some empty seats when we arrived at 9:30/10.  packed when we left around midnight.

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Did you have anything to eat, Nathan...I've heard rumors of a new, respected chef cooking there now.
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#189 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 10:20 AM

Sssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Nobody's supposed to know that Liebrandt's doing that.

#190 weinoo

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 10:46 AM

Sssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Nobody's supposed to know that Liebrandt's doing that.

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Imagine the rush of "foodies" if that indeed was the case.
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#191 Nathan

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 11:11 AM

I was at the bar last night...it's as good as ever IMO.  some nice new drinks on the menu too.  some empty seats when we arrived at 9:30/10.  packed when we left around midnight.

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Did you have anything to eat, Nathan...I've heard rumors of a new, respected chef cooking there now.

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I'll confess to not having food there in a couple years.

I did eat at Barbuto earlier (I can't recall the food....Heidi Klum was eating a couple tables over and she's rather....uh......distracting.)

#192 slkinsey

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 02:08 PM

All the cocktails on the menu are about $12, but I ordered a margarita at one point and it was $18. I didn't ask for any specific tequila and I just didn't expect that, I don't think any similar bar charges as much except for Bemelmans.

t's been $12 for regular cocktails and $16 for champagne cocktails since the day the doors opened. And I don't think that's particularly expensive for a Manhattan cocktail lounge of Pegu's caliber. As far as I know, this is what they're all charging. I think Milk & Honey is now charging $15 across the board!

If you were charged $18 for a "regular" Margarita, I have to believe this was a mistake. If it involved some kind of extremely expensive tequila or mezal, it might maybe get up to 18 bucks... but I have a hard time seeing that happening, especially if you didn't ask for it. The thing to do, by the way, would have been to ask for an explanation of the charge before going out on the internet to imply that they were jacking up the price on you.
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#193 adamru

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 02:44 PM

Well I don't think I went out on the internet to attack the place. I think this is a forum for debating this sort of thing. I'd rather get the consultation of regulars than have bothered myself to argue over a few dollars. Why should I leave the bar fussing over the check? I also wrote the menu and presentation changed and the drinks were good as ever. But service was a failure in my perspective and the price of a drink was element of it. I take no issue with $12 - $16 drinks, I never wrote I did. But if I didn't ask for any particular tequila and if the waitress didn't ask what kind I wanted, I'm just saying I thought $18 was a lot. Obviously you yourself think that price is a mistake. If the point of eGullet isn't for discussing this sort of thing, then why is there a forum for Pegu Club in the first place? It's not like I'm being pedantic inaccurate or uncivil.

Edited by adamru, 03 July 2008 - 03:37 PM.


#194 weinoo

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 09:35 AM

So, we stopped by Pegu Club last night for a couple of drinks...as Sam said, most drinks are $12 and the Champagne cocktails are $16.

The new food menu is a work in progress, and the new chef is Phillipe, who until very recently was cooking at Jimmy's #43 - on East 7th St. Anyone who has eaten there knows what a great cook he is, and I'm looking forward to seeing (and eating) his food at Pegu. FWIW, last night we were going out to dinner somewhere else, so we didn't want to fill up on any of the food at Pegu - well, except for a couple of snacks which were just fine, but not revelatory.
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#195 Nathan

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 07:37 AM

that Kill Devil is just nuts good. strong but balanced flavors. boozy in a good way.

some new bartenders last night that I hadn't seen before but they certainly seemed well-trained.

#196 kurl

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 11:01 AM

Dropped in last night for a few drinks and some food. I think the new menu is crystzalizing (or fully set) -- there's a blurb about its Asianish provenance and such. Anyway, the food was extremely tasty; we had tuna crudo (nice quality fish, simple but tasty), duck crostini (three pieces, heavily sauced but very nice tasting), crab rolls (wrapped in cucumber, cold and excellent), and summer rolls (just veggies -- very yummy and fresh tasing).

The food was excellent, though the portions are pretty uniformly tiny; you could go through a lot of time (and money) trying to make a meal out of them.

Any recs for proximal post-Pegu snacking?

#197 weinoo

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 12:02 PM

Arturo's across the street...Lupa across the street and up the block...new Thai place on W. Broadway - Rhong Tiam.
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#198 daisy17

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 12:59 PM

Arturo's across the street...Lupa across the street and up the block...

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Totally.

Also Snack, Tailor.

Blue Ribbon, late night. Bone marrow. That's all I'll say.

#199 Nathan

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 07:45 AM

the new food menu features a selected cocktail pairing with each dish (including classics not on the menu)..

#200 Sneakeater

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 08:57 AM

The old one did, too, didn't it?

#201 slkinsey

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 08:59 AM

Yes.
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#202 Nathan

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 09:33 AM

oh...don't think I'd looked at the food menu in years until last night

#203 johnder

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 09:36 AM

They have a new chef as Weinoo pointed out, Philip Kirschen-Clark formerly of Jimmy's 43 and WD-50.

He is revamping the menu totally in terms of food. Had the chance to try most of the dishes Kurl mentioned back a few posts, but my understanding there was a lot more on its way.
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#204 nicoeats

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 02:52 PM

I was genuinely excited to try the cocktails at Pegu, after all I had read about them. They were good, but there were a few details that I didn't expect.

The thing that surprised me the most is that the bartenders were not tasting the drinks. I went once when it was really packed, and once again when there were maybe 6-7 customers, and I never saw a bartender check the cocktails. This led to what I think were slight mistakes in the execution that could have been easily fixed by tasting them. I ordered a tantris sidecar, and the lemon juice was slightly lacking...an eight of an ounce would have corrected it.

The other thing that I didn't like was the chipped ice that made it to some of my cocktails. I know that it's a matter of preference whether to strain or not a cocktail after shaking, but if you're going to allow the little shards to make it to the drink, they should be super small, and I got a few bigger chunks of ice with my drinks.

I liked the "Little Italy" cocktail. Good take on a Manhattan -- slightly sweet, but nice.

On the whole though, the drinks were good and nice surroundings.

#205 slkinsey

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 04:02 PM

Pegu Club is a jiggering bar, so there is really little need for repeated tasting. When you will see the bartenders tasting there is when they are working on something or creating something all'improvviso. That said, I have been to Pegu Club many, many times and see bartenders tasting cocktails plenty of times. Maybe you just missed it. Or perhaps you were expecting them to taste every one.

Some bartenders insist on repeated tasting to "correct" cocktails (usually freepouring bartenders -- you may draw your own conclusions) but I have my doubts as to whether this makes much sense. Yes, it makes sense to taste every so often to make sure that the lemon juice hasn't gone off or whatever. But there is a meaningful problem with how well the bartender's tastes as to balance will accord with each individual customer's tastes as to balance, and there is the additional problem of palate fatigue. Differences in taste on the order of what you describe (i.e., that could be fixed to your liking with an eighth ounce of lemon juice) are well within the boundaries of the two problems I describe above. Which is to say that it's entirely possible that the bartender may have tasted your drink and found that it balanced just fine. Or not. There's no way of knowing. The point is that tasting and "micro-adjusting" cocktails is as much pixie dust, performance art and bartender self-aggrandizement as it is anything else.

Of course, it's absolutely possible that a minor mistake was made with the Tantris Sidecar. It's also possible that the formulation wasn't quite to your tastes. The Tantris Sidecar was probably created something like 6-8 years ago. That's a very, very long time for this era in the cocktail revival. The Tantris was cutting-edge when it was created, and it's still a brilliant drink, but may be starting to show its age. Audrey has remarked to me a few times that she thinks it might be time to "update the Tantris." The thing is that it works as a basically sweet drink, and it's a great introduction to the new wave of classic mixology for those just coming to it.


I'm with you on chips of ice. Not my favorite unless you use a technique designed specifically to produce very fine chips (not actually as hard as some would have one believe).
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#206 nicoeats

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 07:47 PM

I think you're right. I didn't realize that the tantris sidecar was supposed to be a sweet drink, and maybe my confusion came from there -- I expected the lemon to play a stronger role, and that's why i thought that it needed a bit more.

Look forward to going in the future to try some more drinks!

#207 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:11 PM

My husband and I had a fantastic time during our first visit to Pegu Club last week. We went early (before 6 pm) and sat at the bar. We had a very nice chat with the bartender and one of the patrons. I had to get a Pegu Club, and my husband asked for a daiquiri variation with rhum agricole. They were both great. The Pegu Club is a drink that can be hard to balance but this was perfection. The daiquiri was made with La Favorite blanc.

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I loved the attention to detail which is seen for example in the generous garnishes - the Pegu Club had a scored lime wedge. The space was comfortable and welcoming, and we felt right at home. It's too bad that we live so far away and won't be able to go back for a while.