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Everything posted by Mayur

  1. Well, I wouldn't count the Staggerac as "one drink" anyway. It's more like three. Sadly, it's also no longer available at PDT, since a) they've changed over to a new menu for spring and b) the George Stagg bourbon used in the drink is a limited run, hence not available forever. I'd consider one drink every 20-30 minutes to be going slow... but I may just have an, er, different view of these matters than most people. Suffice it to say that you will be able to do both PDT and D&Co in one hour if you restrict yourself to one round at each. I would pick Flatiron Lounge over Little Branch these days, actually; I feel like it's undergone a bit of a Renaissance. Both are good bars, of course!
  2. I average 3 CPH (cocktails per hour)!
  3. I second daisy17's recommendation of doing both Death & Co and PDT; they're approximately 70 feet total walk from each other, and it's possible to do a leisurely cocktail at each within the same hour.
  4. Mayur

    Hakata Ippudo

    I really like those mayo shrimp, but I'm weird that way.
  5. Mayur

    Rob Roy

    D'oh! Of course. I just had Rob Roy on the brain for some reason.
  6. In order for me: Marcona almonds Cheese straws Potato chips with blue-cheesy dip (Blue Smoke in NY has my favorite example of these) Deviled eggs ...but preferably all of the above. My fantasy bar would have all of the above laid out in discreet little plates along with rolled-up, toothpicked slices of bellota and truly fabulous olives. Really, the problem that I have with any good bar snack is that one ends up skipping a nutritious dinner in favor of scarfing these down. When I do parties, I almost always lay on real food for precisely this reason; while the deviled eggs, chips, and fried stuff (cocktail samosas, pakoras, and other Indian snacky goodness) go fast, it's nice for someone to be able to put themselves together a little plate of actually healthy finger food (crudites, grilled vegetables/chicken/fish, soup in shot glasses, etc.).
  7. Mayur


    A bit of a non sequitur, but one tip when making a Vesper from yours truly (I've been working on a Kina Lillet mockup for a little while): Throw in a dash of aromatic bitters. Kina is both slightly more bitter and slightly warm-spicier than Lillet Blond, and it really makes a difference in this cocktail. I've got those two types of bottles as well, and I haven't noticed a difference. It's true that they're reformulating all kinds of things now, but I don't think that trend has hit Lillet just yet (fingers crossed... )
  8. Mayur

    Rob Roy

    IMO, Grouse is the best for this, with Asyla coming a close second. Jim Meehan at PDT mixed me an awfully nice version of this cocktail the other night with Asyla, Carpano Antica, and a 1/4 oz of benedictine. The benedictine does nice things for this drink.
  9. I second Pan's Madangsui recommendation. In general, Koreatown is definitely worth a visit, and it's quite easy (IMO) to avoid spiciness.
  10. I find Szechuan Gourmet much better, but at 39th St. between 5th and 6th, it is not a short walk from 56th St. And so far, most of the interesting stuff I've had there has been pretty spicy (but I like that). This is probably a subject for a different thread, but I've been doing a fair amount of back-and-forth between SG and the Wu, and while SG's overall price performance is better, I think the Wu has an edge in terms of complexity of flavor. I've had significantly better beef dishes, braised fish dishes, and cold apps at the Wu.
  11. Another thing, Katie: I'm assuming you've been to NY before. That said, I wouldn't be too concerned with cabbing it, at least in the evenings; nowhere in mid-to-lower Manhattan is really more than a "short" cab ride away. Thinking in those terms, your dining options expand dramatically, and as such, I'd do Chinatown for seafood, including soft-shells. My personal favorite is Fuleen Seafood (Division Street near East Broadway), but Oriental Garden is a fine alternative, and I'm sure other Society members can point you to great destinations. Pearl and Mary's are really not possible for parties larger than 4, and dinner can be a nightmare. If you can make it for lunch, you're golden, but I wouldn't try to push an evening seating unless you're eating at 5:30.
  12. Mayur

    the Atty

    *thread resurrection* I wouldn't use Junipero for this. The fact that it will stand up to the herbal accents in the absinthe (and it will!) is completely separate from the fact that it will combine with the absinthe to knock the violette and vermouth accents out of the drink entirely. The problem here is almost certainly the violette. R&W is very, very dry stuff, and as such tends to fade into the background in a cocktail like this. I'd recommend sticking with Plymouth (or something similarly "clean" in flavor), reducing the absinthe to one drop (yes, one drop) and doing one of two things with the violette: 1) Use something different: Monin's violet syrup is a good alternative for this drink assuming you can't get a French alternative (or Hermes). 2) Add some simple. IME, adding sugar to drinks with the R&W violette really opens up the liqueur's aromatic profile. Just thinking about the Atty today, since it's a perfect drink for this weather.
  13. You have an enormous variety of options, I'd say! First off, what would you rate as "splurge"? As Nathan mentioned, Lupa is generally considered mid-priced rather than particularly expensive, so if Lupa defines your high end, we should think in different terms from the default on these boards (which would put a New York Times four-star into the "splurge" category, meaning ~$200 pp or possibly more!). The best option for a "splurge" in that neighborhood would, IMO, be Esca. Price point is a *little* higher than Lupa (call it +$5 for apps and +$10-15 for mains), service is excellent, and the seafood is exemplary. I second Nathan's recommendations of Tsukushi (for cooked Japanese) and Mia Dona (for Greco-Italian). Toloache is good, and IMO you can easily avoid the truly spicy dishes (of which there are a few). I'd also recommend Casellula (52nd St between 9th and 10th Ave), which does mainly wine and cheese but has a few decadent cooked dishes as well. If you prefer sushi to cooked dishes for Japanese, I'd recommend Shimizu (51st near 8th Ave). Not cheap, but really, really good and not far away from you by any means. On the seafood front: For what you're talking about (shad roe, lobster rolls, etc.) you are going to need to come downtown for the best options. Mary's, Pearl Oyster Bar, and Ed's would be my choices, though I'm not hugely fond of Ed's. Shad roe is definitely in evidence, as are soft-shell crabs (although we're coming to the end of that season pretty soon). Were I to go after the *best* soft-shells, I'd go to Le Bernardin, but you'll be spending a packet, even at lunch. For something at a lower price point, you are, again, going to have to come downtown. I'd recommend Aquagrill (Spring St and 6th Ave) for soft-shells, although there are many other options. (Mary's is likely to have them as a special.) As to Chinese or Vietnamese: There's really nothing in the way of a good Vietnamese restaurant in Manhattan north of O'Mai (9th Avenue and 19th Street). There are some excellent Sichuan restaurants in midtown, however. Lately, I prefer Wu Liang Ye (48th between 5th and 6th Aves), which is right near you, though the food tends toward the strongly spicy side. If you feel like a Chinese-food splurge and/or soft-shell crabs, there's always Shun Lee Palace (155 East 55th). Not cheap, but excellent Cantonese food. Obviously, there are much cheaper (and potentially better) examples to be found in Flushing or Chinatown, but Shun Lee is comfortable and within easy call.
  14. Yeah, PDT is pretty much all busy all the time. Stopped in tonight on my way in from the airport; I had the (rare, for me!) chance to chat with Jim and sample two of the spring offerings. The French Maid was exactly what I expected; really a perfect drink for the exceptionally summery evening. The Bizet was likely as expected (a highly-tweaked Americano with a lot of wine character) and almost exactly like something I was whipping up at the end of last summer using a sparkling Malbec. The nice thing about the drinks this menu around is how they bounce around the sour/acid/light body/heavy body/booziness spectrum. F'rex, what with jetlag coming on, it was nice to have something refreshing but not stupor-inducing. I may have preferred some of the winter offerings to the spring offerings as individual drinks, but this is a better-composed menu overall, IMO.
  15. Mayur

    Bistro Benoit

    Overcooked (I was there Friday with Nathan as well). The quenelles were rather mushy, and the sauce an extraordinarily generic tarted-up demiglace with no subtlety and little flavor beyond the base elements of demiglace, a frisson of something trout-y, and salt. All in all, I was rather unimpressed.
  16. Mayur


    Cocktails are $14 apiece. Nathan and I were here Friday. The bartenders, Barry and Matt (specifically Barry, who served us for the most part) were very serious about their craft, charming, well-informed, and enthusiastic. I was amused by the fact that they put a Ramos gin fizz on the menu, which to my mind shows some serious cojones. (Barry shook me up a nice example to boot!) Crowd was reasonably casually-dressed for the most part; I didn't see any jeans in evidence per se, but it definitely wasn't suits. The bar is pretty small, though. One thing to note: We were there from about 7:30 to 10, and the place was very, very quiet; maybe 20-30% full on tables (although the bar was generally at or near capacity, but OTOH it's quite small). Evidently they're still surviving on their catering business for the most part.
  17. Mayur


    I'm agreeing with Nathan on this one. Too high an alcopop quotient here.
  18. $35 pp including wine or not? That may get a bit tight otherwise. Any place that does a Restaurant Week-style lunch deal would be good: I'd check and see if Cafe Boulud does anything along those lines. Of the standard UES ladies' lunch spots, I prefer Amaranth, on 21 East 62nd between Madison and 5th, for the food. Apps are around $8-9 and mains $15-20, so you could get out of there for around $35 with a glass of wine, before tax & tip. They'll take large groups.
  19. Word.Or it could be the Manhattan + Bronx + Brooklyn + any other in-state names... ...In other words, calculated to lead one to the degree of insobriety found on the average New York City street on a weekend.
  20. Well, it depends on whether you want to mostly drink or eat. I'm going to differ with Nathan on Merkato 55; I think that place *already* went from all right to suck. Ssam Bar for 5 on a Saturday night is just asking for trouble; there are really only two tables that accommodate that many, and it may not fit the definition of "hot/trendy" that the OP is using. I think Bar Blanc and Casa Mono are the only decent places that meet the criteria. The Spotted Pig (and John Dory, if it's open by the time you get into NY), Bar Q, and the Rusty Knot might meet the criteria as well, if what you're looking for is crowds, drinks, and noise.
  21. Mayur

    Bistro Benoit

    Benoit in Paris is pretty darn good, so I have high hopes for this sort of place.
  22. Diamonds and Rust 1 oz Laird's bonded apple brandy 1 oz Lagavulin 16 yr 1/2 oz Punt e Mes 1/4 oz + barspoon Drambuie 2 dashes TBT or Angostura bitters (they give a different profile, but each is good) 1 dash Peychaud's Measure into mixing glass with cracked ice, stir, strain into old-fashioned glass with a nice big ice cube. Came about after I really wanted a Vieux Carre and realized I didn't have benedictine or regular sweet vermouth in the house. (Well, it's not my house; I'm living out of a suitcase at the moment.) Boozy, but tasty. While the Rusty Nail is not my favorite, it works nicely as 1/3 of a different cocktail altogether! (Name, obviously, is a conflation of the Diamondback and the Rusty Nail. But nice to be able to use one of my favorite song titles for a drink nonetheless!)
  23. I think we're far enough along on the cocktail trend to ditch the bog-standard "alcopop" type concoctions: flavored-vodka-based drinks, super-sweet concoctions, etc. I'd go with slightly tweaked classics, and up the whiskey/gin quotient on the list. A French 75 using yuzu instead of lemon (call it a Tokyo 75?) would be a fine champagne cocktail replacement for the flirtini or passion bellini. The ginger fizz drink almost certainly would be better with rum, and possibly with house-made ginger beer instead of just ginger syrup and soda. But really, there's an endless set of possibilities.
  24. I am not currently professionally involved in the industry, but I'd recommend checking out the Tiki thread. I think that many of the drinks listed there would work nicely in the Asian fusion context, and are reflective of the latest cocktail microtrend.
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