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Everything posted by Mayur

  1. Mayur


    The Cocchi Aperitivo Americano comes close to the "bitter" (kina) Lillet (I've done a side-by-side with a very well-preserved bottle), and I'd suggest that Noilly Prat Ambre is probably close to the Sauternes Lillet, although who knows? Vermouth herbals are tricky to judge. Anyone in the perfume industry who could lend a hand?
  2. Guilty. Insert "Creme de Violette," "Noilly Prat Ambre," "Amer Picon," "Suze," etc etc. Every one of those has its own associated train ride and workday shirking. Yeah, one really does involve oneself in too much craziness....
  3. d.b.a. will resemble a cattle pen on a Friday evening; I'd avoid it at all costs.Sweet and Vicious is a nice suggestion: Spacious, big backyard area, and pleasant. Some other options: -Royale on Avenue C between 8th & 9th Streets is a theoretically divey, but really quite middle-of-the-road, bar with excellent burgers and a nice back garden. -Eight Mile Creek on Mulberry btw Prince and Spring has a downstairs area which can get packed later on, but is actually relatively mellow until about 11 or so. -M&R Bar downstairs from Marion's on Bowery between Great Jones and 4th is usually quiet, even on weekend nights. There are about three decent-sized areas where you could all sit. -Lederhosen on Grove might be a nice option, especially if the party's in the near future (for that Oktoberfest vibe). [EDIT: What's your criteria for "great," incidentally? Given that there are a number of options, it might be possible to narrow the list down somewhat depending on your tastes.]
  4. Given that this is how "foam" is made by 90% of the "foam"-making populace, I think you're fine with the whipper. Now to buy a new one since my old one has gone MIA... Next cocktail: More fun and games with the Noilly Ambre "Rasam cocktail" 1.5 oz Junipero 1 oz tomato water 1 oz Noilly ambre lightly bruised sprig cilantro + one Serrano pepper 3 pinches cumin-pepper powder (50/50 cumin seed/black pepper, toasted and ground) 1 pinch demerara sugar 2 dashes lime juice Combine ingredients in mixing glass with crushed ice. Stir 30-60 seconds and strain into cocktail glass rimmed with salt. Wish I could dispense with the lime juice, since it clouds up the drink, but you really need the citrus tang to make this work. Probably could substitute tamarind water, but then it'd look *really* ugly...
  5. No; I'm a big fan as well. Moreover, having made the CR2 with it, I'll never go back to straight Lillet. To be honest, dry vermouth + orange bitters (or better still, Noilly Ambre plus orange bitters) is simply a superior alternative to Lillet Blonde in every single cocktail I've played with using Lillet as an ingredient. Incidentally, I don't think the Aperitivo Americano holds back the CR2 from achieving that proper balance. I *do* think that adding too much absinthe can mess this up right good. (I managed two drops from the VdF bottle before the mixing glass, shaker, and cocktail glass smelled like anise from about three paces.) I'm indifferent on Pernod vs. absinthe in this drink, although I think I do actually prefer the latter FWIW.
  6. Two mild-variation cocktails: -A Brooklyn (standard proportions) with a dash of orange oil -A white negroni in the following proportions (inspired by phlip): 1.5 gin 1 Noilly Prat ambre 0.75 Suze 2 dashes Bitter Truth lemon bitters Really heightens the gentian flavors in the Suze (and bitters) without adding orange-y fruitiness. [EDIT: Removed pompous adjective.]
  7. Mayur


    I don't even know that I can be so scant of praise. I *love* Bouley. Maybe I've just gotten lucky in my meals there (I've eaten only dinner, and pretty much exclusively on Thursday or Friday nights, and I inevitably order "whatever the kitchen feels like delivering"). But IME, it outperforms four-stars much of the time. Bouley is actually one of the best examples of cognitive disconnect I can imagine; so many people out there have had a different experience from mine that I'm driven half-crazy trying to understand why. But that's just my own experience...
  8. I'm going to have to agree with bostonapothecary here. I tried putting this cocktail together, and the Famous Grouse kicked all the other ingredients out of the park. I'd recommend coming down to 0.75:0.75:0.5:0.6 (the variation I tried). That gets you a two-and-a-half-ounce cocktail (plenty fine by old school standards) which has lots of character. The Vya and chartreuse both express nicely in this variant. I tried one at 1:1:0.5:0.6, but this actually had too much smoke for my tastes, and somehow this slightly higher amount of scotch managed to obliterate both the vermouth and applejack accents. (The chartreuse survived nicely.) Just IMHO...
  9. Oh, you just had to go mentioning that, didn't you?Yeah, I'm wondering why I even cared about the food in the first place...
  10. FYI: I went to this event this evening (largely on the prompting of FG's photos) and ended up, completely coincidentally, being seated at his table! Loads of fun and a good time had by all! As to the actual event: Those who didn't come were MISSING. OUT. Big time. The food, all the way from the coffee cups of chowder to the wonderful fresh-picked stone fruit at the end (a touch that was largely ignored by the crowd, given the *enormous* amount of food preceding) was pretty darn stellar, and abundant. I ran through probably four or five soups, three or four fried clam-strip rolls, a dozen each raw and wood-roasted oysters (and a bunch of clams and mussels), some seriously tasty fried chicken and flounder, sides, salads (including an excellent plate of heirloom tomatoes), and two lobsters (OK, so I eat like a bloody vacuum when given the chance!), and I can't complain about a single thing. I'd definitely recommend hitting this in 2008, if you are a rustic seafood fan. Well worth it; I just wish Waldy did this every week!
  11. Mayur


    Not for ramen, but you *could* get non-traditional noodles at Momofuku... it's worth the noise IMO. Hence NYC rather than Tokyo...
  12. Mayur


    I'm a little surprised as well. This place is a true standout for the neighborhood, serves late (always a plus), has knowledgeable staff (another plus), and the product on offer is really pretty stunningly good IME. I haven't really delved into the cooked offerings, since I usually just sit at the bar early evenings and have a glass of wine and some cheeses and charcuterie, but everything I've had (the meats, the cheeses, the paired condiments thereto) is very, very good. That said, I'm hoping it doesn't become TOO well-known.
  13. Fruit eaux de vie are super-cheap in France, comparatively speaking. Whether they were cheaper in the US/UK is a different issue, of course, but bog-standard stuff is pretty darn cheap (in the US $15-20 range) in many liquor stores of my acquaintance in NYC. It's not the best, but who knows what kinds of standards they exercised for these things back in the 1890s-Prohibition era?
  14. Why is a shaken drink necessarily colder than a stirred drink, anyway?
  15. IMO, Regan's is vastly different from any other orange bitters out there. ROB tastes far more of cardamom than of anything else, up to and including orange. I get Plymouth for $13 a bottle in NYC, so I'm pretty set for a decent base gin for Pegu Clubs. Like mkayahara, I would go more rather than less aggressive for this cocktail; Beefeater is practically the benchmark for "common" aggressive gins. I don't like Tanqueray, but lots of other eGulleteers do. YMMV.
  16. It is available in the US under the Rothman and Winter marque. If you can't get that, feel free to PM me. I love Old Raj... by itself, in a martini with a slight dose of an interesting vermouth (homemade or Vya can both be good bets). The vieux carre family of cocktails is actually not quite to my taste in general; it tends to be more of a "how hard can I make my favorite bartenders work" drink for me. (Sorry guys!) That said, if you were going with Old Raj, I might suggest the following fun things to mix with it:-Vya white (Old Raj is pretty much the only gin I've ever found that matches up perfectly with the Vya white aromatics without overwhelming it) -Jade Edouard or one of the Czech absinthes (you need a highly aggressive licorice or vegetal quality IMHO) -lime or grapefruit bitters -Siembra Azul blanco tequila (the right pairing for this in that it has a *slight* lime peel/green chili undertone IME) -Something North African or North Indian spiced; my initial thought is to substitute a dash or two of Carpano Antica vermouth for the Peychauds in the above formulation, since that has the cinnamon/cardamom accents that I think would marry well with the Old Raj's saffron. Another interesting option might be a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper or a drop or two of garam masala-infused neutral alcohol. -A half ounce of a nice, spicy Gewurztraminer [EDIT: Added wine suggestion. Maybe not to everyone's taste... ]
  17. Okay, here's one for Andy and bostonapothecary: 2 dashes Peychauds 2 dashes Blanche de Fougerolles 1 dash Verte de Fougerolles 1/2 tsp creme de Violette (my latest homemade is pretty strong, about equivalent to the Benoit Serres but using a grappa base; if you have Hermes, I'd go up to 3/4 tsp) 1 oz Plymouth 1 oz Herradura silver tequila 1 oz M&R bianco vermouth 1 dash gomme syrup (2:1 simple heated with a bit of extra sugar to super-thick stage and then ice-cooled) Lemon twist Carve ice down to size of glass, add bitters, absinthe(s), and violette, and stir briefly. Add gin, tequila, vermouth, and gomme syrup, and stir again vigorously until cold. Garnish with lemon twist. This is about as well-balanced as I could get this, as I hate drinks that taste too much like violette. The bianco works awfully nicely in this drink, though.
  18. Off the current menu: the watermelon salad, asparagus fries, roasted tomatoes, lamb's brains, chestnut agnolotti, garganelli, and braised veal short ribs are all excellent. The pasta tasting is, IMHO, pretty good, but you really should just go to Babbo if you want that kind of carb blowout.
  19. Erm, no. I believe that you are thinking about Tasca. Alta (54 West 10th Street, in a townhouse with a slightly below-street entrance) is a different animal entirely.I'd go with Alta over Lupa, myself, but I feel like Lupa hasn't been the same since Mark Ladner took off to Del Posto. Either are good choices. Momofuku Ssam Bar is a must; I'd skip Noodle Bar for the comfort issue I mentioned abovethread.
  20. Heh. Just looked back at the Michter's bottles again. Of course. US 1 is just what they call all their baseline whiskeys (rye, bourbon, "American whiskey"). Only noticed it on the American whiskey because it didn't have one of the easier identifying descriptors (to my eyes) of "rye" or "bourbon".
  21. Muddle it before adding the mint, lime juice, and simple for a Gin-Gin Mule. I also have long enjoyed something similar to a cocktail that PDT has on their menu: the Pimm's Rangoon. Mine goes like this: Strawberries (optional) 4-6 one-inch dice of cucumber 0.5 oz lime juice scant 0.5 oz simple syrup 6 sprigs mint 1.5 oz Pimm's No.1 1 oz gin (Hendrick's for the full effect, but pretty much anything works) 1 oz plus a little homemade ginger beer Muddle cucumber (and strawberries if using) thoroughly in mixing glass. Add lime juice, simple, and mint and muddle just enough to bruise mint. Add Pimm's, gin, and ginger beer and shake with ice. Strain into collins glass over ice. Garnish with wheel of cucumber (or cucumber wheel and strawberry). Pimm's and cucumber are a natural marriage, and one can theoretically vary these sorts of recipes infinitely. Another nice use for cucumber is juiced and in a savory drink. I made quite a few variants on "Tastes Like Salad" cocktails with fellow eGulleteer and best buddy cdh last summer. Cucumber juice, gin, lime juice, some muddled green chilies, chopped cilantro, and some tomato water is nice. One nice variant is some cucumber, salt, lemon and lime juice, egg white, heavy cream, salt, gin, and chili powder (or better still a green chili-infused gin); chuck a few fresh summer tomatoes in their and you have alcoholic raita (tasty)! [EDIT: Either of the latter recipes should work just fine with tequila. Thanks to Phil Ward at D&Co., I have been reminded of what a fine and versatile set of spirits may be found in tequila.]
  22. As for eating plan: I would absolutely, positively make reservations for Saturday night if possible, although many of the places mentioned upthread don't take them. Again, I don't know how much of a crowd person your mother is, but I'd try to hit dinner on the early side if you want a calm experience on Saturday. Momofuku Ssam Bar is a positive pleasure to visit if you stop in at, say, 5:30pm, and a madhouse if you try going after 7:30. Likewise with Alta, although the crowd usually takes later to kick in there (figure if you're in by 7:30-8pm, you'll be fine). Lupa's likely to be crowded pretty much any time after 6, although it is at least civilized on Saturday nights if you have a reservation. I would consider going with Chinese if you want to do interesting seafood for reasonable prices. Oriental Garden on Elizabeth, and (my favorite) Fuleen Seafood on Division, are both excellent options. Bondi Road is run by wonderfully friendly people (although the decor is a bit, er, bizarre) and does have nice, reasonably priced food. And I second the recommendation of going somewhere for dinner and then to WD-50 for dessert (I often go for dessert and cocktails, and was once lucky enough to be bartended at by Junior Merino!). In fact, you could make a both civilized and festive Saturday evening by hitting MSB for dinner early, and hitting WD-50 (with reservations) for dessert. (Hmm... may have just figured out my plans for tomorrow...) Sunday is generally a much, much easier time to do dinner. Ssam Bar still gets crowded, but pretty much all the other options are thinned out by a good bit. [EDIT: Unless your mother is a regular habitue of crowded general-admission rock shows, I'd avoid Momofuku Noodle Bar for evenings. Unlike Ssam Bar, there are ONLY stools as opposed to seats, and the music is BLARING.]
  23. Taksim no longer has a downtown location, FYI. Frank and Le Zie are both neighborhood restaurants, and IMHO not the best of their respective neighborhoods. As an example, though Frank is practically outside my front door, I usually take the walk over to Barbone (on 12th and B) or pay the slight extra cash for Five Points (Great Jones between Lafayette and Bowery), except for times when I'm unbelievably lazy. Alta is a fave of mine. Excellent house cocktails (depending on the bartender to some extent, although all of them seem to be able to execute what's on the list), a great and well-priced wine-by-the-glass list, and IMO lovely, well-priced food. Though it's arguably smaller plates for smaller prices, I usually don't need to spend more than about $25 per person on food, and with larger groups that drops. While I am a big Tia Pol fan, I have begun to like Alta better for an all-round small plates experience, although it is substantially less traditional (and I thought Tia Pol was Catalan, no? Or am I misremembering the pan tomacat on the menu?). One note of caution: All of the joints you mention are LOUD. I sit at the bar at Alta if I'm with only one or two companions specifically because I can't stand the noise (and to nibble away at their bottle of Amer Picon! ) Frank is a madhouse at dinner with the crowds, and I remember Le Zie being the same (I haven't been there in ages). If your mother is like my parents, this could be unworkable for her.
  24. IIRC, you should call the day of at 3pm or close to it. If I'm wrong, I'm sure one of the eGulleteers who gets behind the wood there can correct me!
  25. Isn't Michter's US 1 just "American whiskey" rather than rye (not that I can figure out the difference for anything)? And in general: The Chinato (I have the Cocchi and Cappellano) mixes crazy-well with everything. Sub it in for sweet vermouth at every opportunity and see what you get. A dash or two added to a Fancy Free is what I'm drinking now, and it is a damn fine drink.
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