• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
slkinsey

Pegu Club

207 posts in this topic

BTR - I am bankrupting myself on this place already.. I think they put crack in the drinks or something. I only live 4 blocks away.. so I've been there more than half of the days they have been open. The employees must think I'm completely nuts! After 10 days of intense research, I've tried many new drinks; the Sazerac and Silver Lining are two of my favorites. Phil makes a very nice Prohibition cocktail - plymouth gin, lillet, wee bit of apricot brandy. Maybe something else. Ive had old fashioneds made by 3 different bartenders.. each one different than the others. I find it so interesting to watch each bartender's personal approach to the cocktails. It is less busy this week than last week.. so everyone should go. It wont be too crowded. I will be there Monday for the benefit and am guessing I will 'see' some of you there.

We sat at a table one night because our group was too large. Aside from the obvious reason that you lose the bartender interaction and show, the table experience was disappointing. I think we may have rubbed our waitress the wrong way.. she seemed to be unhappy with some of our requests. The service made me uncomfortable enough that I left with friends to go somewhere else for other drinks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please let me know what night you were with us. That you got bad vibes is completely unacceptable and I want to address this with the staff immediately.

Actually, if you could send me a direct email through egullet and elaborate a bit, I'd greatly appreciate it. It's only through this sort of feedback that we will be able to maintain the level of service that we wish to provide.

Audrey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Audrey - I really appreciate your concern. Yet another example of the amazing effort and thought that has gone into Pegu. Aside from that isolated experience, the service has been first rate. Ive sent you an email...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My god I love this place. We went twice yesterday... we went for a pre-dinner drink, and I was so taken with the place, we hiked back for a post-dinner libation.

And I believe I've found a new favourite cocktail in the Jimmy Roosevelt, although I'm going to practice making them at home (at $16 a pop, it's a wonderful splurge, but I can't drink them all night).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
. . .I believe I've found a new favourite cocktail in the Jimmy Roosevelt, although I'm going to practice making them at home. . .

You should definitely buy a copy of Charles Baker's The Gentleman's Companion, now reprinted under the title Jigger, Beaker, and Glass : Drinking Around the World. It is one of the great cocktail books of all time, not just for the recipes but also for Baker's inimitable writing style. It's not just a recipe book, but a series of stories involving cocktails.

Here is a little taste of Baker's style:

CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL No. II, which with Modestly Downcast Lash We Admit Is an Origination of Our Own, & Which We Christened the "Jimmie Roosevelt"

Last spring we had the pleasure of turning our house into an oasis, between planes, for Colonel Jimmie Roosevelt and Grant Mason of the Civil Aeronautics Commission. . . [etc.]

Fill a big 16 ounce thin crystal goblet with finely cracked ice.  In the diametrical center of this frosty mass went a lump of sugar well saturated with Angostura, then 2 jiggers of good French cognac, then fill the glass with chilled champagne, finally floating on very carefully 2 tbsp of genuine green Chartreuse.

As you may well imagine, it does take some adjustment to turn this into a normal cocktail, as the original uses an entire split of Champagne!


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally made it to Pegu yesterday afternoon. It more than lived up to the hype. I was prepared to pass off excesses of interior design as an evil necessary to an ambitious project such as this. Not so at all. It's really good in there. Conjures a mood, the light during the day is fabulous, dusty bamboo flooring, all that orientalism, good furniture, a great big bar made from one maple tree with visible memories of being tapped for maple syrup. . . really cool.

As far as drinks, well I finally had a chance to try a Ti Punch. Hilarity of hilarities, it's not the drink for me. I recognize why another would love it. Anyway after months of curiosity that's finally out of the way. I moved into safe territory with a Negroni made with Boodles followed by a Juniperotivo. Both were exemplary but the Juniperotivo: lime juice, simple syrup, pomegranite syrup (actually molasses I think?), mint, Junipero gin. That's a drink I'm going to be messing around with for a while.

Oh and also we were feeling a little snacky so ate the deviled eggs with smoked trout. They are a good effort. I'll want to eat them every time I go to Pegu. Makes me wonder about the venerable tradition of snacks that sit on the bar, not nuts and pretzels but pickled boiled eggs and other pickled things, sandwiches (up until prohibition). I don't know so much about it, just a notion that back in the day there might be a jar of something semi off-putting sitting behind the bar for patrons to munch on. . . I'm rambling. Pegu makes a yummy deviled egg that rivals the one at Blue Smoke.


You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
. . . the Juniperotivo: lime juice, simple syrup, pomegranite syrup (actually molasses I think?), mint, Junipero gin.  That's a drink I'm going to be messing around with for a while.

This is a great sweet-sour drink created by Jerri Banks.

Juniperotivo

2.0 oz : Junipero gin

1.0 oz : fresh lime juice

1.0 oz : simple syrup

0.5 oz : pomegranate molasses

2 sprigs of mint

Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice.  Strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish with mint leaf.

This is one drink where the brand of gin makes a big difference. There really is no substitute for Junipero in this one, although Tanqueray might do in a pinch.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drinks at Pegu Club after dinner this last Saturday. We arrived 9-ish to a not-too-full room and took the last two seats at the bar. Beautiful space, staff pleasant. Things got louder (but not too loud) and crowded (but not unpleasantly so) as the evening wore on.

I started out with an Earl Grey Mar-TEA-ni and quite liked it. My dinner date got the Pegu Club, and so I got to taste that as well, similarly very nice.

Things get a little blurry somewhere along the line, so I'm not entirely sure what followed: as the Mar-TEA-ni reminded me of the sort of frothy drinks my mother used to drink (but that I never tasted) I asked for a Brandy Alexander (very good) and a Pink Lady (which our bartender had to look up, and with good reason). I finished up with a Negroni, again for sentimental reasons (involving an old boyfriend and some lost time in Milan some years ago).

Altogether very pleasant evening, and perhaps the best thing about it was that when I realized the next day that I'd left my AmEx in the bill folder (hmm, wonder how ever I managed that...) I wasn't too concerned about it having gone truly astray. Sure enough, my phone message about it early in the day was returned that afternoon, and I promptly dropped 'round to retrieve it.


Can you pee in the ocean?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally made it to Pegu last night. We attempted to go on Monday early, but they were closed for a private party involving fashion week. Showed up early yesterday and started with a nice Aviation while I waited for my wife and friend to show up. Wife ordered a Rob Roy and our friend ordered the Pegu Club All were outstanding. Next round the three of us has the MarTEAni, Whisky Smash and an Eve. The eve was amazing -- who would have thought vermouth infused with Mcintosh apples was so delicious!

I was the only one to opt for a 3rd drink and decided to end the evening with a Corpse Reviver. Ahhh a good way to close the night.

We will definately be going back -- probably next Wednesday!

John


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made it to Pegu Club last night for some cocktails with my friends Nick and Louisa, who are getting married a week from today, and moving to Ohio right after their honeymoon (for a job). They seemed very sad to have to leave New York so soon after finding such fabulous beverages.

I started with a classic Manhattan on the rocks (not on the menu, but it was gooood), then moved on to a Pegu Club cocktail, which I loved. Louisa favored the Old Cuban, which she called a "Champagne mojito!" After the Pegu, I had a Jimmie Roosevelt - all I remember about this one was how unbelievably strong it was. Nick had to down half of it so I could move on to a glass of the Eve (apple-infused vermouth) to finish things off.

The nibbles were also good - we particularly liked the sloppy duck, though the coconut shrimp were also pretty yummy.

Nick really enjoyed the feel of the place (as did we all), particularly the whole British colonial thing. As he put it, he's "really into imperialism." More from an academic perspective than an actionable one, I imagine.

In short, thanks to all for this great recommendation and info - I'll definitely be back!


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Smoked trout deviled eggs?....The egg yolk was blended with both a curry mayonnaise and trout smoked with hickory. The hickory registered more strongly than the trout. The dish worked.
Crab cakes were serviceable. Coconut shrimp quelled hunger without causing undue disappointment.

And isn't that what bar food is all about? And isn't the Pegu Club cool?

The Pegu Club (Frank Bruni)

Related discussion regarding Mr. Bruni's style of reviewing and the New York Times star system can be found here.

Soba

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn. Wish he hadn't done that.


You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruni, er. . . he doesn't really get it, does he? It's really too bad that Grimes didn't write this piece, because he's someone who really understands and appreciates a cocktail.

It seems odd to me that he felt constrained to write mostly about the food -- even going so far as to state that it was the food that allows Pegu Club to "earn it a place in this column." Would one write about a serious wine bar by spending 75% of the column writing about the bar snacks?

It's also interesting to see how much Bruni's perceptions differ from those of more experienced cocktail enthusiasts in these forums. We have been rejoicing in the Pegu Club's "Fitty - Fitty" Martini as a return to the true form of the drink, while he characterizes it as "awfully wet." And while members like Joerg Meyer have been calling the droppers of lemon, lime, simple and bitters "a really great invention" Bruni finds it a "cute additional gimmick."

Oh well...

Damn.  Wish he hadn't done that.

They may feel the same way. I don't think they'll ever allow Pegu Club to become a "three deep at the bar" kind of place.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doggone Frank Bruni anyway. Couldn't he have reviewed some bar where he'd "get it?" Where they serve you a glass of gin and call it a martini? :angry:


Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Damn.  Wish he hadn't done that.

Exactly!

Now, thanks to Frank Bruni, I can't get into a neigborhood Italian joint (Spigolo), and, perhaps soon, my new favorite bar.

Grrrrrrrr.


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sad... I'd hoped to go before it became packed to the gills. That doesn't look likely now.

As I understand it the doorman is for controlling volume of people and not doing the velvet rope thing. They know that the labor intensity of the drinks is a bad match for three deep at the bar. And the vibe would be ruined be hordes of hooting patrons.


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh no :wacko:. Congrats Audrey, I hope you remember us who came before the review :wink:. If I haid acces to a mountain I would shout to the world(E-gullet) go to Pegu. I have it on good authority that they make a great Hemmingway Daq, and that the old cuban is pretty good with barbencourt :wink:. Lets just hope the masses come and then go on to wherever the times TELLS them to go next. PEGU :wub:


Matthew Xavier Hassett aka "M.X.Hassett"

"Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters-it is vulgarly called bittered sling and is supposed to be an exellent electioneering potion..."

- Balance and Columbian Repository. May 13, 1806

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sad... I'd hoped to go before it became packed to the gills. That doesn't look likely now.

As I understand it the doorman is for controlling volume of people and not doing the velvet rope thing.

This is my understanding as well. As I think I mention upthread, I was there one Thursday night when the place filled almost to capacity -- at which time there was some mention of limiting the door for a while in order avoid overcrowding. Of course, as you say, I am quite sure the velvet rope thing will not be happening there, as this is antithetical to the philosophies of the people involved.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sad... I'd hoped to go before it became packed to the gills. That doesn't look likely now.

As I understand it the doorman is for controlling volume of people and not doing the velvet rope thing.

This is my understanding as well. As I think I mention upthread, I was there one Thursday night when the place filled almost to capacity -- at which time there was some mention of limiting the door for a while in order avoid overcrowding. Of course, as you say, I am quite sure the velvet rope thing will not be happening there, as this is antithetical to the philosophies of the people involved.

How does one implement door controls without the nefarious velvet rope? Milk & Honey has addressed the problem... but a hidden phone number club wouldn't be doable for a recently reviewed hotspot. Angel's Share has too... strict rules and all... Maybe a reservations policy with a published phone number would work... We'll see if I can get in next time I find myself in NYC.


Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How does one implement door controls without the nefarious velvet rope?

The "velvet rope" involves selecting people based on how "cool" they are to create a certain "scene" in the bar/lounge/club/restaurant/whatever.

Places that "limit the door" may turn people away, but the door is limited for the purpose of making sure the place doesn't go over capacity rather than to create a "scene," and people are admitted on a first come/first served basis rather than what kind of clothes they are wearing, etc.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had such a lovely time at Pegu tonight. I should probably not be allowed access to a computer after all the drinking we did, but here I am nonetheless. After believing firmly that I was a vodka drinker, the dedicated bartenders at Pegu taught me that I like gin and even rye - RYE! Who would have thought it? The bartenders are remarkably passionate about their craft, and their passion is contagious and thrilling. Started off the night with a Gin-Gin Mule (so refreshing and delightful), onto a Whiskey Smash, and then Toby made me a concoction whose name I am completely forgetting with rye and pomegranate juice, and it rocked my world. Feel like I've never had a cocktail before - I had no idea how complex a drink could be in the mouth. Simply fantastic. Can't wait to go back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sad... I'd hoped to go before it became packed to the gills. That doesn't look likely now.

Yeah, I stopped by on saturday night. Or rather, tried to but did not feel like waiting for a half an hour. Maybe it will settle down in a month or two, or maybe I should just quit my job and show up at 3pm, which is actually quite tempting :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was there on Saturday myself (and, er. . . a good bit of Sunday morning too). It was filled to capacity at around ten or eleven o'clock, at which time was a wait at the door. This was precisely to make sure that it was never "packed to the gills" inside. Inside had the feel and bustle of a filled room, but never felt crowded. Without crowd management at the door, it would have been a madhouse inside. By the time 1:00 or 2:00 rolled around, I don't think there was a wait.

As a general rule of thumb, Saturday night at 10 or 11 is the worst possible time to be out looking for a peak cocktail experience, because even the best places are going to be packed with weekend barhoppers. By limiting the door to control capacity, Pegu Club is actually doing something unusual for an "open admission" bar: they are making it possible to get a peak cocktail experience in a comfortable setting with the full attention of the barstaff even at 11 on Saturday night if you're willing to wait for a while. This, of course, is something restaurants have always done -- we're just used to the idea that bars will cram in as many people as are willing to come through the door.

As another general rule of thumb, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights are the best possible times to be out looking for a peak cocktail experience. I'm sure there is no wait at the door to get into Pegu Club tonight, and last night you might have shared the bartender at Flatiron Lounge with only a few other people. Five or six o'clock is also a good time just about any day except Friday.

On another subject: Check out the web site at peguclub.com. If you click on the "Ethos" tab, there is a nice video of a bartender making a Pineapple Pisco Sour and swizzling a Ti Punch (with a real swizzle stick, natch).


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I realized that it was not going to be the best of times to go, but was hoping for a miracle I suppose. The "line" was fairly minimal outside actually, but I suspected that there would be overcrowding. I am not a fan of crowded bars, and at least on saturday night the other people waiting did not look like the sort of people I cared to be drinking around. Popped collars scare me. Had I known it would still be comfy inside, I might have stuck around, but instead opted for other watering holes in the village that had seats.

It is nice to know that the atmosphere is pleasant even at "max" capacity, and I commend the club for sticking to this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.