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Elettaria


Mayur
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See nymag listing HERE.

I stopped in here last night for friends & family. It was a pleasure to run into fellow eGers johnder, weinoo, and donbert, and to sample some fine cocktails, courtesy of dapper drinksman Brian Miller (Pegu, Death & Co) and the lovely Lynette Marrero (Freeman's, Drinks at 6). The space is quite attractive, and features an insanely fabulous and tricked out open kitchen. (Not so sure about the weird glass-door partitions, though.) There were only passed hors d'oeuvres for the moment, so it's too early to comment on the food (the octopus, which will appear in modified form on the menu, was tasty, though).

As Brian's yellow Hawaiian shirt would have suggested to the casual observer, the cocktail list is largely dominated by tiki drinks, which are a welcome revival in my book. The list is built around a relatively sweet palette for my tastes, but the drinks I had were expertly balanced to the point where I didn't mind (which says a lot given my predilection for bitter/sour cocktails).

I've had a number of these before; it was a pleasure to see that the ones I was trying for the first time measured up. The mai tai (with both agricole and dark rums) was quite lovely, with enough nuttiness from the orgeat and properly-crushed ice to cut the sweetness. The Electric Ladyland, with Alto de Carmen Pisco (Lynette gave me a little to try), rose jam, lime, and champagne, was pretty fabulous. My favorite drink is probably the opaka raka (Junipero, lime, simple, mole bitters plus something else I'm forgetting); definitely off the sweet palette.

The zombie punch, which seemed to the the most popular beverage going, was... well, deadly, but a really lovely mix of flavors that maintained a surprising degree of distinctness; the different rums, lime, and absinthe kicks all came through sharply and clearly.

I have to say that, given the vast window opening onto 8th Street, the seductively-sweet cocktail list, and the semi-canteen style dining room, this place is in danger of being a victim of its own success. I can only imagine that the bar may generate cattle-pen dynamics on weekends. Still, as long as there's a seat at the bar...

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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To add: While Brian and Lynette will not be 'tending here all the time, I did have a quality experience thanks to the other bartenders present, who were charming, courteous, and competent. (Alexander Day, from Death & Co and Tailor, will be here Tuesdays starting next week.) I went off list just as a test, and got a well-made old fashioned (with rum, of course) from Ryan.

They also have two (count 'em) Kold-Draft machines, which means they're loaded for high volume, despite the somewhat sparse back bar.

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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Yeah; it'll take someone more "inside" than I to give a first peek at the food (I don't even know if they've done any trial dinners yet), or else we'll have to wait for the actual opening.

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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Here are some pictures from the event last night. Sorry about them being blurry, it was fairly dark in there and also the effects of the Zombie cocktail were kicking in.

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John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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...and also the effects of the Zombie cocktail were kicking in.

Yeah; Brian mentioned something about directing servers to limit customers to two of those, and I think even that might be overestimating the average customer's tolerance!

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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Note that I completely screwed up the cocktail attributions; the list is about evenly split (in terms of design) between Brian and Lynette. Edited my original post to reflect this.

Sadly, unlike my blog, I don't fact-check my eG posts very well!

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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Note also the presence of some interesting bitters and infusions on the cocktail menu. There are both mole and elemakule ("old man" bitters), and some cardamom-tea-infused bourbon, rose jam, and other neat stuff.

Took a peek at the food tonight, though sadly not a tasting per se (I accidentally crashed chef's F&F) and man, does it look good. Had bites of the pig's feet, the crab resala (a take on what is normally a sort of dry shrimp-masala dish), and the "saag paneer" (spinach and ricotta gnocchi) courtesy of the nice people next to me at the bar. Quotation marks aside, the saag paneer is highly delicious. This is a configuration I'll be trying at home; the idea of forming the fresh cheese and spinach into little dumplings is just brilliant, and these are better than anything I've had outside of home or an NYT 3-star. The pig's feet are... well, better than anything I ate at Hakata Tonton, which should be saying a lot. The resala is made with a turmeric-onion soubise (plus herbs) in lieu of a traditional masala, and it was the one disappointing taste of the three, in part because it had all the oiliness one expects of this kind of dish when served traditionally, without a serious spice kick. Ironically, it was the spiciest-looking of the three, but had the least kick. Both the pig's foot and the saag paneer-gnocchi were *loaded* with flavor.

This looks to be some tasty food. Prices actually looked pretty mild (the entrees are all low-$20s). It is certainly a much better showcase for chef Nawab's cooking, and features far more exciting dishes, than did EU.

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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Had dinner there last night with a party of 6. Ordered all the starters, except the greens and then had the skate, wild boar and the saag paneer. Unfortunately, I don't have time to go into detail, but the folks that I was with have pretty discriminating tastes and they were thoroughly happy with the meal. Really loved the foie gras terrine (so silky and flavorful), saag paneer, the crab dish, pig's foot and sweetbreads. The only dish that no one particularly cared for was the rice cake - the heavy cumin made it taste like you were eating chili.

Tried the Ginger Rogers and the Electric Ladyland - both were very tasty. The ginger cocktail was definitely on the sweet side, but nicely balanced. It'll be one of my guilty pleasures when I'm in the mood for something girly - like the Earl Grey martini that I love so much.

Great service, beautiful space... would definitely come back for another meal.

It was bustling considering it was only the 2nd night open to the public.

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yeah...I had a "you know you're a cocktail geek when" moment when they presented me with a Ginger Rogers and I was immediately like "Oh, this is that drink by Absinthe in San Francisco"...for a cocktail on the slightly sweet end (about a Jennifer #3 or Tantris Sidecar or Jack Rose level)...it's very nice.

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Was here on Saturday and had a great time. Love this space, and the tiki drinks were brilliant. Actually quite nice to be sipping a mai tai in the midst of a New York winter. Was quite impressed with the service -- from hostess to sommelier -- considering they've been open just four days. Unfortunately the food was the one part I found lacking. Most selections looked good on paper but arrived either over or under seasoned (mostly over). Had the crab, pig's feet, lamb sausage, wild boar and sag paneer. Portions are small, more Craftbar than EU. I found myself wishing Akhtar would bring more of the latter than the former to Elettaria. That being said I would definitely go back, probably on a weekday. I figured a couple rounds at the bar, then take another stab at the menu when the place has had some time to settle down and the kitchen really starts humming. I'm confident it will get better.

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Ate at the bar Saturday. I'm really pleased to see how well this restaurant came out. There's a certain completeness and attention to detail which is evident in the food, the service, the bar, and the room which are very rare in a new restaurant, especially one which is owner-operated, but which seems very in line with the way that the chef does things. To my mind, Mr. Nawab is one of the most well-rounded chefs working today, especially taking into account his relative youth and the fact that he isn't being backed by some massive operation (hotel, brguest etc).

All that being said, my only negative experience of the night was sitting at the bar with pink necked stockbrokers stacked four deep behind me, hollering for "Grey Goose and soda!!!!" and "bartender!! bartender!!!!!!", but that will tone down in time. Oh- also- there was so much aggressive shaking of cocktails, cracking of ice, etc going on behind the bar that on several occasions I caught a face-full of spray coming from a bartender, a problem that I've never encountered at the bars at death+co, tasting room, etc.

Keep up the good work, guys- that restaurant has all kinds of staying power going on.

don't get me wet

or else the bandages will all come off

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yeah...I had a "you know you're a cocktail geek when" moment when they presented me with a Ginger Rogers and I was immediately like "Oh, this is that drink by Absinthe in San Francisco"...for a cocktail on the slightly sweet end (about a Jennifer #3 or Tantris Sidecar or Jack Rose level)...it's very nice.

Chuckle, the Ginger Rogers is a real modern classic. Marco Dionysos (aka cocktailgeek) was so far ahead of the curve with the cocktail menu at Absinthe. After 10 years, I think it is still one of the best selling drinks at Absinthe, and it's a gin drink!

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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well, Ryan Sutton knows nothing about cocktails:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...vXv4&refer=dine

. . . Be wary of the cocktails. Bartenders over-shake and serve drinks with small cubes. The result is consistently watered-down libations. . .

This strikes me as unlikely. Are they using Kold Draft cubes?

--

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well, Ryan Sutton knows nothing about cocktails:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...vXv4&refer=dine

. . . Be wary of the cocktails. Bartenders over-shake and serve drinks with small cubes. The result is consistently watered-down libations. . .

This strikes me as unlikely. Are they using Kold Draft cubes?

Yes, Elettaria has kold draft and crushed ice. Maybe the gentleman from Bloomberg is a little confused, or perhaps uneducated, in the use of crushed ice for tiki drinks. My guess is he saw bartenders shaking hard for drinks served up or on fresh kold draft ice, and didn't notice that drinks served over crushed ice were shaken with only two cubes.

But so goes the inadequacies of those who critique with little knowledge of what they're talking about.

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What I think it interesting is that, 5 years ago, there's hardly a food writer around who would have even thought to comment on "over shaking" of drinks and the size of ice cubes. It goes to show how far things have come even in that short time that now we have one of those "a little knowledge is more dangerous than no knowledge" situations.

--

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What I think it interesting is that, 5 years ago, there's hardly a food writer around who would have even thought to comment on "over shaking" of drinks and the size of ice cubes.  It goes to show how far things have come even in that short time that now we have one of those "a little knowledge is more dangerous than no knowledge" situations.

good point (other than presumably Grimes...though he never wrote about restaurant cocktails in his reviews)

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Elettaria actually has two Kold-Draft machines.

Wow. "Bartenders over-shake and serve drinks with small cubes" makes it seem like Sutton walked into an alternate universe bar. Or are we assuming that crushed ice now equates to "small cubes"?

This is the sort of review text that actually makes me quite angry; it reminds me of how Mimi Sheraton used to review Indian restaurants. Lots of counter-factual statements, even when praising places.

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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Seems to me like he can barely string together words to form a sentence. I was at Elettaria this evening and had some wonderful cocktails . Exactly what you'd expect from talented bartenders like Lynette and Brian!

Edited by daisy17 (log)
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