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Everything posted by Mayur

  1. I also like Falai on Clinton Street, especially if you ask them specifically for the little table in the window (on a slight elevation, rather like a dais; it's neat!). Prune doesn't really fit the definition of "hip" for me these days insofar as crowd is concerned; neither, IMHO, does Degustation, although the room has a sexy vibe.
  2. I was thinking of Tailor, but isn't that actually pushing their price envelope, or is it only the degustation that achieves that level? Peasant is actually spot-on; the food's great and the vibe is definitely hip. (Just request that you not be seated in the back; the heat from the oven can be intense!) Another option down that way is the Monday Room at Public, although the problem is that it can be difficult to put together a full meal there (they serve wine and light bites, emphasis on LIGHT). The latter is a beautiful setting, though, and service is professional, the wine list verging on spectacular, and the food inventive and delicious (if tiny).
  3. Is Mercat actually good? Still haven't been... The only problem that I have with Boqueria is that it's a madhouse, but some people who are going for a hip vibe LIKE it crowded and noisy. I actually quite like Suba, food-wise, but it is worth collecting a consensus on the issue. Some other options: If you can figure out a 5th diner, Tia Pol (on 10th Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets) is what I might call "hip" and does reservations for parties of 5 or more. Alta (on 10th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue) is downtown-ish, if not "hip," and takes reservations for all party sizes. The food is (IMHO) excellent, as is the wine list (and, for some reason, they have an insanely well-stocked cocktail bar though not a super-trained staff). I don't know what you might think about Kingswood (in the old Jefferson space, on West 10th between Greenwich Avenue & 6th Avenue. I've only had a drink and some snacks at the bar, but it certainly qualifies as hip, and the food is solidly executed based on what I had.
  4. Citrus! Blood oranges, Seville oranges, and some excellent grapefruits all come at that time of year. It may not be local, but it's damn' seasonal... and perfect for cocktails!
  5. Do you need to have a reservation as opposed to being able to wait at a no-reservations place? Because if not, I might recommend (and I know it's an ad nauseam issue):Momofuku Ssam Bar, which is both hip and has delicious food. Suba is a nice choice also, incidentally. Fine food and a nice vibe.
  6. Okay, that's it; I'm taking some growlers and going to Spain! I take it they have Spanish brands like Miro as well as the standard Italian and French varieties? I'm surprised to hear about this, because the reason for draft beer is the storing and shipping of beer in pressurized kegs. As aromatized wine, vermouth has no reason to be hooked to a draft tap; at best, I could imagine it doled out like cask ales or cellared wine into jugs, carafes, or drinking vessels. In any case, I don't see how it would be different from bottled vermouth except that a keg may be sealed against oxidation, whereas an (open) bottle isn't. But presumably most bars worth their salt go through enough vermouth, and store it well enough, that oxidation isn't a factor.
  7. A Martinez variant works well: 2 oz gin 1/2 oz bianco vermouth 1/4 maraschino a dash of bitters. Another use is a vieux carre variant of some kind; I find that equal parts gin + tequila + bianco with some interesting bitters (I use some Peychaud's, some Bitter Truth lemon), a dash of Pernod, and a flamed lemon peel is delicious. Phil at Death & Co made me a drink with Bushmills + bianco a while back, but since it also had chartreuse, you're a bit out of luck there. Tequila and bianco are generally quite lovely; even just 2 reposado tequila to 1/2 bianco plus some Angostura is nice.
  8. Interesting. I wonder if I could just drop a chunk of dry ice into punch and keep it chilled (and smoking like a witches' brew) that way for Hallowe'en. Thoughts?
  9. Stopped in last night for some tasty drinks courtesy of johnder and donbert, including a preview of the fall house cocktails. If I could, I'd keep a tank of their bitters-spiced caramel syrup around to bathe in! PDT just keeps getting better and better. Congrats to the fine mixological talents that push this forward.
  10. You're reading minds now. This is almost identical (with the exception that I'll be using five-spice instead of the nutmeg/allspice/Angostura) to the punch I'm doing for my Hallowe'en party. Damn!
  11. New Yorkers like it when restaurants and bars play hard-to-get. It's an artifact of living in a crowded city; places that advertise openly seem all-too-likely to be overrun with out-of-towners and feel insufficiently "special" and local.
  12. Looks like a fine plan to me! IMO, you're better off not having your car Monday in any case. I might recommend going from JG to Chelsea Market and then further downtown, though; it's a nice fast subway ride straight down from CPS to Chelsea on the 1 9 or A C trains.
  13. Just noticed you are coming in on a Monday, which means you *definitely* should hit PDT, since IIRC both eGulleteers johnder and donbert are behind the bar Monday nights! (BTW, Nathan: my point was that I simply would not expect to have the experience you did at LB, not that I rate the place highly simply because of a couple of noteworthy bartenders. Yours is a disappointing anecdote; at minimum, I expect the bartender to have done what the new ones at Pegu do, and look the cocktail up if it's a classic. However, someone who's just visiting would want a truly interesting cocktail experience, and that means some technique and creativity *as well as* competent execution of the classics. If LB is falling down even on the latter, my esteem for the place falls a few notches, but I have had some of the best off-menu drinks and seen a great deal of really impressive technique [and materials, like their ice], there.)
  14. Could be; either Sam or Richard is always there when I go, and they're both veterans with *vast* repertoires and experience. Actually, that does illustrate a good point for stickyii: If you're after the best of the best in terms of cocktail experience, I'd really target Death & Co; there are three main bartenders working there now, and they're all spectacular, so you are *assured* the best cocktails in town if you go. PDT seems to maintain a similar level of quality, though I'm not as familiar with the bar staff. Pegu is generally excellent, but there are definitely a couple of bartenders still in training.
  15. I'd recommend Jean-Georges, but only if you have the proper time for lunch (figure 1 1/2 to 2 hours; I can never get out in less than 2). For something quicker, you may want to do the Spotted Pig, which is actually reasonably uncrowded at lunchtime during the week and quite tasty, or better still Momofuku Noodle Bar, which is definitely "unique" and quite delicious. While LeNells is indeed the liquor store to hit, it's also terribly out of the way for a single day. The advantage is that you can go there late (it's open until 11 or midnight most days), but getting to Red Hook is a bit of a pain. (I usually only go when I'm already in Brooklyn Heights or Park Slope and can take the bus; I have no idea how to do it directly from Manhattan via public transport.) Therefore, I would instead recommend Astor. They have an excellent selection (including a bunch of rums and liqueurs, such as the R&W apricot and violette, that are either unavailable or just becoming available in PA). I'd definitely suggest Essex Street over the Greenmarket for "interesting" quotient; while the Greenmarket has excellent produce, it's not big on the interesting foods for the visitor option. As an alternative, I'd actually recommend wandering through Chinatown, which is essentially one big "market" and certainly big on the interesting take-away food (Mei Lah Wah Tea House for baked pork buns, the Ice Cream Factory, Excellent Dumpling House, "Roated" Meats, etc.). Cigar stores are tricky since Nat Sherman's closed. I prefer J R Cigars on the corner of 5th Avenue and 46th Street: Prices are gentle, and their house smokables are often quite good. They also usually have insane fire sales on smoking accessories. Bars: You could theoretically hit all the best bars in NY if you tried! Start with Flatiron, move to Pegu, then tromp to the East Village to hit Death & Company and PDT, maybe winding up at Little Branch. (Incidentally, Nathan, I rate Little Branch a shade above both M&H and Flatiron these days.) If you had to pick one or two, I'd pick D&Co. first, followed by Pegu.
  16. Had a wonderful tequila-based "classic cocktail variant" at Death & Co last week: Tequila negroni [iIRC:] 1.5 reposado tequila (Siembra Azul) 1 campari 0.75 Punt e mes dash of grapefruit bitters Very, very tasty, and bracing!
  17. Porçao is my favorite, though friends of mine who have lived/worked in Brazil say the ones there are better (they still treat the one on Park Avenue South as their go-to option when in NYC). I like Brasilia Grill on Ferry Street in Newark, NJ as well, although getting to the Ironbound from NY can be a bit of a pain. Nice family atmosphere, though, and ridiculously cheap compared to the high-end NYC places. [EDIT: Porcao has a nice, fun atmosphere, and while I hate Park Avenue South as a rule, the crowd seems generally OK, so that might work nicely for your b'day dinner!]
  18. Two useful additions to the muddled-drink arsenal are the occasional splash or two of Velvet Falernum and/or a healthy lengthening of the drink with Audrey's ginger beer (which can be shaken with the drink in a manner similar to what Sam described for his concoction, then topped up with soda if fizziness is desired; more flexible than store-bought ginger beer, and super-tasty!). A gin-gin mule served without the extra steps of shaking and straining is basically in the family of drinks you're talking about. Assuming no falernum or ginger beer, basically anything with berries goes awfully nicely with a mojito or caipirinha; that said, my advice would be to puree berries, infuse your base spirit, and then strain unless you're really unsure of how many of each drink you'll be making or your customers get a kick out of watching you muddle berries as well as limes, mint, or what have you.
  19. Mayur

    Killer Brunch

    Seconded... er, "octonded," I guess. You might try reservations here, and the food is great; however, based on my experience, it is NOT going to be quick, and Perry Street is slightly non-central for most weekend-afternoon-type events in NY (though not significantly less central than the Spotted Pig, being just one block south and 1 1/2 west).
  20. Also, at the risk of offending my fellow eGulleteers, I might recommend batching drinks. Sours especially aren't actually that hard to batch and hold (use a pitcher sunk into ice, and briefly shake before pouring). Or make some nice big ice rings (freezing ice in a bundt pan works well for this), grab some big bowls, and make punch! Some ideas after a recent trip to Death & Co that would give you a base red for Ohio State: -Gin, Dubonnet, ginger ale, orange bitters -Whiskey, applejack, benedictine, Peychaud's bitters, angostura, some soda
  21. Those are hard colors to mix for! Gray/silver is not really a color I want so often in my drinks... One option would be to go with 1 1/2 applejack to 3/4 Dubonnet rouge with a couple of dashes of orange bitters. This is likely to look reasonably Ohio State red, and probably makes a tasty variant on the Marconi wireless. Serve with a little bit of (edible) silver foil crumbled over top, and you've got the colors and something autumnal. You could also doctor a Jack Rose to achieve more or less this result by clarifying the lemon juice (run it through a coffee filter a couple of times) and stirring rather than shaking. The resulting drink should be red, and that mixed with applejack and grenadine might work. Just tried doing this with my homemade grenadine, and it's still too purple, but if you were to use commercial grenadine (I know, I know) the color should be right.
  22. Mayur

    Killer Brunch

    Two hours of wait plus 40 minutes of brunch isn't really a fast meal in the sense they want it, methinks. Prune is nice, although you face the same problem unless you go for breakfast instead of brunch. My reigning favorite is Five Points, since a) the food's great; b) you can reserve; and c) service at brunch has been, IME, snappy, efficient, and polite (which is VASTLY different from brunch practically anywhere else in NY; thank late shifts and hangovers!). Food comes reasonably fast *if* you mention you're in a bit of a hurry. [EDIT: -Spotted Pig is corner of Greenwich Street and 11th Street, Tel 212 620 0393, but they won't pick up on a busy shift, which is always, and don't take reservs anyway. -Prune is 1st Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, Tel 212 677 6221. -Five Points is Great Jones Street (effectively 3rd Street) between Bowery and Lafayette St., Tel. 212 253 5700.]
  23. I'd love to know what, exactly, is wrong with the service at PL. I've never had an inefficient or particularly rude waiter, and I don't really see what's wrong with gruffness. Orders are taken quickly and efficiently, food comes out as ordered, and plates are cleared, glasses filled, etc. Plus the service staff DO have a sense of humor, as mentioned abovethread. All in all a charming experience IMO.
  24. Mayur


    I was referring to the fact that old Lillet has two formulas (three once they came up with Lillet Dry). As eje notes above, Continental Lillet had two varieties: "Kina Lillet" and "Sauternes Lillet." I was merely suggesting that something like Noilly Ambre (which appears to use a botrytised wine stock, from the taste) might be similar to this old "Sauternes Lillet." This line has a picture of an old label FYI: http://cgi.ebay.fr/Belle-etiquette-ancienn...2QQcmdZViewItem However, I've never tasted this stuff nor met anyone who has, so I'm just presupposing out of whole cloth. Still, if one were dividing old-school Lillet into two categories, spicy-dry (kina) and botrytis-sweet (Sauternes), then I'd imagine the substitutions might work that way, though as I said, I've only been able to do a comparative taste test of Kina Lillet to Aperitivo Americano.
  25. Yes. The stall one east from the Northwest corner of the Greenmarket (can't remember the name) often has them.
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