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Fat Guy

The five best cocktail destinations in NYC

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We had a go at White Star last night before 9 pm.  There's no better deal I know of in Manhattan.  $7 a drink is not far off what some dive bar charges with a rum and coke.  And the drinks are good.  We had a bit of a mixup with a sazerac and a margarita (suffice it to say that I now know what a sazerac with cointreau and a margarita without taste like) but they were remade cheerily and were very good when they turned up.

Our verdict is that when you're out to celebrate or to forget something, D&Co. is better for being blown away by quality, for spending the entire evening sinking ever deeper into a drowsy funk.  But for a couple of quick drinks, we liked White Star.

Excellent choice - as a matter of fact, my wife and I were at White Star at right around the same time last night - 4 drinks clocked in at $28, including one of my newer favorites, the 1920.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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We had a go at White Star last night before 9 pm.  There's no better deal I know of in Manhattan.  $7 a drink is not far off what some dive bar charges with a rum and coke.  And the drinks are good.  We had a bit of a mixup with a sazerac and a margarita (suffice it to say that I now know what a sazerac with cointreau and a margarita without taste like) but they were remade cheerily and were very good when they turned up.

Our verdict is that when you're out to celebrate or to forget something, D&Co. is better for being blown away by quality, for spending the entire evening sinking ever deeper into a drowsy funk.  But for a couple of quick drinks, we liked White Star.

Excellent choice - as a matter of fact, my wife and I were at White Star at right around the same time last night - 4 drinks clocked in at $28, including one of my newer favorites, the 1920.

We had a good time. They charged me $10 for the Sazerac, but that's still cheap. My fiancee had a gin rickey and the margarita, and I added a $7 old fashioned.


Edited by WK2 (log)

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Ditto.  Does the inclusion of actual Absinthe (assuming that the "housemade" Absinthe is, in fact, actual Absinthe) make it a unique enough drink to warrant a new name?

You and Weinoo are right: the Standard Grill's "speakeasy" cocktail is actually a Sazerac. But I see this done ALL the time: cocktails that have an official name going by a different name to suit the bar's / the restaurant's image or style. I realize it's not exactly right, but it's quite common.

About the absinthe - I asked the manager and she said it was an error, it's not actually made in-house (as I suspected).


Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

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I just wouldn't trust a place that serves a classic like a Sazerac but gives it another name. Makes it seem like they have no respect for cocktails (or their clientele) (which in the case of a place located where the Standard is would probably be warranted).

PS -- Actual absinthe is part of the recipe of a Sazerac, so housemade or not that couldn't justify a new name.


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

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Hi,

I was hoping someone could help me as I am in desperate need of a drink.

I recently lost my phone and as such, also the new number to milk and honey. I managed to find the number that worked around march/april and I recall last time I texted it i received a reply stating they had changed their number and they sent me the new number. However, when I tried texting the old number again I received no such reply. Could someone please help me by pm'ing me the new number. I would be forever in debt.

As such I had another question. last time I was there in june they made me this great drink served in a giant rocks glass with the pebbled ice that was a gin based drink and served with a giant blackberry atop the ice. Does anyone have any idea what this might have been called? Thanks.

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1. They have a public web site now with reservation instructions.

http://www.milkandhoneynyc.com/

2. Probably a Bramble (gin, crème de mure, lemon, simple syrup).


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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The phone # actually changed again at the end of May, but I'm not sure if we're allowed to distribute the new one, since it's not the same as the one on the website. Their email seems to work fine, though.

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The phone # actually changed again at the end of May, but I'm not sure if we're allowed to distribute the new one, since it's not the same as the one on the website. Their email seems to work fine, though.

correct, the new number is rather useless for nonmembers and shouldn't be distributed. plus they still ask for your key.

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The phone # actually changed again at the end of May, but I'm not sure if we're allowed to distribute the new one, since it's not the same as the one on the website. Their email seems to work fine, though.

correct, the new number is rather useless for nonmembers and shouldn't be distributed. plus they still ask for your key.

That's why I didn't mention it! :) It's easier for non-members just to do everything through email.


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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Why is it that some cocktail bars close at midnight? Recently, I was walking downtown from Midtown with a couple of friends and wanted to stop in at Flatiron Lounge. We arrived at 12:20. All their chairs were upside down, and they were cleaning up. Friend's comment: "If they close at midnight, they're not a serious bar." Irrespective of how good their cocktails may or may not be (seeing that we never got to try any), I sort of agree. New York is a late city; even on weekdays, midnight is not very late. Why, even in San Francisco, bars stay open later than that. So what is it with the attitude of some cocktail bars here? And don't tell me they have to sleep, because they aren't opening at 8 in the morning. Do they think their customers are all early-to-rise stockbrokers or something?


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Why is it that some cocktail bars close at midnight? Recently, I was walking downtown from Midtown with a couple of friends and wanted to stop in at Flatiron Lounge. We arrived at 12:20. All their chairs were upside down, and they were cleaning up. Friend's comment: "If they close at midnight, they're not a serious bar." Irrespective of how good their cocktails may or may not be (seeing that we never got to try any), I sort of agree. New York is a late city; even on weekdays, midnight is not very late. Why, even in San Francisco, bars stay open later than that. So what is it with the attitude of some cocktail bars here? And don't tell me they have to sleep, because they aren't opening at 8 in the morning. Do they think their customers are all early-to-rise stockbrokers or something?

That doesn't make sense - Flatiron is supposedly open till 2 Sun-Wed and 4 Thurs - Sat. Other than Death & Co I don't know any cocktail bars that close at midnight, and that's about to change as a result of their success in challenging the SLA.

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One of my biggest complaints about New York is that places of all kinds that are supposed to be open late -- late-night restaurants as well as bars -- frequently will close up long before official closing time if there aren't any customers there.

This infuriates me. If a place is supposed to be open till 1 AM, I don't want to get there at 12:15 and get turned away because they're closing up for the night.

But it's very common.

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Other than Death & Co I don't know any cocktail bars that close at midnight, and that's about to change as a result of their success in challenging the SLA.

Does this mean that Death & Co will now be open past midnight! When I asked the bartenders about this they mentioned it had to do with the community boards rules but if this is about to change then I am really excited.

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They're slowly implementing later hours. If you get there after midnight they might not let you in, but they aren't going to kick you out at 11:55pm any more. :) You might even get to stay until 1am.


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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A lot of them do it because of licensing problems.

I don't understand. Please explain what that would have to do with closing times?


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Your license determines how late you can stay open. The SLA, under pressure from local community boards, is getting tougher in the licenses it grants. A lot of places are now only getting licenses allowing them to stay open till 2AM rather than 4AM.

In cases like Death & Co., where there was a foul-up with their license which the local community board took advantage of, they had to agree to close at midnight.

The new Hotel Grifou on 9th or 10th St. similarly has to close at midnight or 1 AM because of an agreement with the coop they're housed in.


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

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Your license determines how late you can stay open.  The SLA, under pressure from local community boards, is getting tougher in the licenses it grants.  A lot of places are now only getting licenses allowing them to stay open till 2AM rather than 4AM.

In cases like Death & Co., where there was a foul-up with their license which the local community board took advantage of, they had to agree to close at midnight.

The new Hotel Grifou on 9th or 10th St. similarly has to close at midnight or 1 AM because of an agreement with the coop they're housed in.

And yet all those crappy frat bars on 3rd avenue are open all night long. :blink:

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Your license determines how late you can stay open.  The SLA, under pressure from local community boards, is getting tougher in the licenses it grants.  A lot of places are now only getting licenses allowing them to stay open till 2AM rather than 4AM.

In cases like Death & Co., where there was a foul-up with their license which the local community board took advantage of, they had to agree to close at midnight.

The new Hotel Grifou on 9th or 10th St. similarly has to close at midnight or 1 AM because of an agreement with the coop they're housed in.

And yet all those crappy frat bars on 3rd avenue are open all night long. :blink:

They have a more forgiving community board and neighbors.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Well, that and I think it is reasonable to expect a bit more privacy and quiet on a street than an avenue.


--

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One of my biggest complaints about New York is that places of all kinds that are supposed to be open late -- late-night restaurants as well as bars -- frequently will close up long before official closing time if there aren't any customers there.

This infuriates me.  If a place is supposed to be open till 1 AM, I don't want to get there at 12:15 and get turned away because they're closing up for the night.

But it's very common.

This is also a huge beef of mine. In fact, I think I even started a thread on it once upon a time. Or at least one in response to it.

The other factor is that we, the denizens of the city, are partly responsible. If enough of us go to these places that they're still busy enough to be open at those hours, they'll stay open. A business does lose money if they pay someone to man the ship, and no one comes in.

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Not quite sure if this is the right thread to post on, but I wanted to give a few thoughts on recent visits to Mayahuel and White Star.

Mayahuel: After dinner at Back Forty, my girlfriend and I headed over to Death and Co. for some cocktails. The doorman said the wait was about forty minutes so we decided to head over to Mayahuel instead. The doorman there, a British guy, was a lot more friendly than the Death and Co. guy (who, in fairness, appeared to be dealing with an awkward crowd) and found us a seat right away. Once inside, I ordered a Stone Raft and my girlfriend got the Slight Detour. While both were good, the Slight Detour was the clear winner; the mole bitters gave the cocktail a depth and richness. We followed with glasses of anejo tequila. The Don Julio was great. All in all, very impressive.

White Star: I'm a big supporter of White Star on week nights. While the cocktail's aren't as quite good as they are at some of the other bars in the Petraske empire, White Star executes the classics very, very well. Considering this, our experience there on Wednesday was like none other. First, Sasha himself was there. Apparently, White Star's been fairly slow on non-weekends and he's trying to drum up some more business by being there more often. We started the night with our go to drinks: me, an old fashioned, her a Manhattan. She swears the Manhattan at White Star is the best she's had. Both were excellent. Things got interesting when we let the bartender, who's name I can't recall, experiment a bit and try out some drinks he's been working on. First he gave us a "tequila old fashioned" which was basically an old fashioned made with tequila and muddled grapefruit. It was fine, but I can't help but think it would be a better drink with the mole bitters from Mayahuel. Then he tried an (unnamed?) drink featuring grapefruit, mint, cucumber, sugar, soda, and bourbon. Interestingly, my girlfriend loved the drink while Sasha deemed it too complicated for his style of bar. All in all, it was a great night in a fairly empty bar. While I wouldn't say that White Star is one of the top five cocktail destinations, it's my favorite spot for dropping in for a great cocktail. Also, on non-weekends, it's much easier to interact with the bartenders there and try a work in progress.

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Apologies if this is the wrong place to post this question, but as it seems to be a hub for NYC cocktail types, I wanted to give it a shot.

We currently live in Boston, and have been spoiled by our year in Chicago with The Violet Hour, which I miss hugely, and haven't found anything at that level here. On our last quick trip to NY, we managed to hit Death & Co twice, and really enjoyed it. Also was taken to the Flatiron by friends, and wasn't impressed.

So we're flying in for 12 hours in NY tomorrow evening for a concert. We get in to JFK about 6pm, and need to be at the show probably 9 or 9:30. We'll need to eat something, but I would also very much like to take advantage of the great cocktail bars in town if possible.

So the question is twofold-- first, do any of the great bars have decent enough food to make a meal? oh, and unhelpfully, I'm a vegetarian. I guess PDT and hot dogs might be OK, but am I missing something? I do not mind making a meal out of really good bar food.

Second, where among these bars, are the two of us most likely to have no problem getting a seat, ideally at the bar, about 7pm on a Wednesday?

Thank you in advance!

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