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slkinsey

Pegu Club

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Not much to add here except to concur that this is a great place. On a rainy, holiday monday it was really empty, but it still had a very cool vibe. Loved the drinks (we had a Pegu and on of those Jamaican Ginger thingies...) and it's always a blast to run into fellow eGulleteers, in this case MX and the mysterious Vadouvan...

Can't wait to go back.

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johnder   

I was there last Friday, had one to many I think. :wacko:

We were there pretty early ~6 ish and it was maybe 25% full. By the time we left around 8, it was 70% full.

Rumor had it that slkinsey was going to make an appearance there for New Years Eve.

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Let me add that it was great meeting Vadouvan and Philadining. As alway the drinks and company were wonderful. Also New Years was a superb and low key affair. Let me suggest that you try "The Rowe" a stellar cocktail created by Pegu's own Brian.

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bergerka   

slkinsey and I were both there New Year's Eve, in fact (sitting right next to M.X. Hassett, who has fabulous hair).

I really, really, really wish I could remember what all I had to drink. The combination of horrible jet lag and, well, New Year's Eve has wiped my mental hard drive, it seems.

Anyone who was with me remember?

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OK, Matt, you can tell us, we're your friends... are you living in Pegu's coat check room?

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OK, Matt, you can tell us, we're your friends... are you living in Pegu's coat check room?

Maybe THAT'S why my coat looked so wrinkled last time I got it back! :laugh:

I think Matt actually lives under the bar.

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Damn my cover has been blown. I only nap under the bar, the coatcheck is where my cot is. :laugh:

Kathleen: thanks for the hair compliment, I think yours looked great also.

Megan: Sorry just send me the dry-cleaning bill

philadining: Now everyone will want to move into my comfy little coatcheck room

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johnder   

I wasn't there NYE, but I was speaking to Brian Friday and he mentioned there would be a visit by Sam on NYE. He was preparing for a busy evening. I can only imagine the hangovers that resulted at the conclusion of the evening.

Megan, I know Brian is working Thursday, so we may be in for the same.

John

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I've been making it a habit to visit Pegu every time I'm in New York (only twice since it opened so far, I'm hardly a jet-setter) since I enjoy it so much. Exquisite cocktails, both original creations (unfortunately I've forgtten specific names), standards (Ramos Gin Fizz, garnished with cardamom), and antique (The Last Word). Already looking forward to my next trip.

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Pegu voted "The best new cocktail bar" by the readers of Time Out NY. Congrats

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just went with a few folks for cocktails yesterday on the basis of all y'all's reccomendations, and LOVE.

I think those are some of the most friendly and helpful bartenders I've ever encountered. At one point I asked what one of the ingredients in one of the drinks was, and not only did my new best friend the bartender explain it was artichoke based, but he poured me a taste. Very cool place, and beautifully done in all aspects.

and now I need to go get me some orange bitters so I can make myself a fitty fitty at home.

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Marlene   

And you can get the bitters right there too! I fell in love with Pegu the last time I was in New York, and I brought back two kinds of orange bitters from there as well.

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banquo   

I went to here for the first time last Tuesday and love it so much I went back Thursday night, and will probably end up there this Saturday. It was a completely different vibe on Tuesday as on Thursday. Much more relaxed and quieter on Tuesday. Tonight it was quite crowded and the music was turned on louder. I can see myself fitting in on either night, but Tuesday is definitely more my thing. The drinks, as many have said, are incredible. I haven't had a drop of gin in 10 years (don't ask), but decided to try some of their gin based drinks--and I love them all. Their martini almost dropped me to the floor, because the alcohol sort of sneaks up on you. I would also recommend the fitty fitty and the drink with their house made ginger beer (I could imagine a summer fling with that drink). If you have hesitated to go to this place for whatever reason (inexplicably, I was), go now!

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donbert   
... my new best friend the bartender explain it was artichoke based...

Most likely Cynar, an Italian artichoke based bitter liquor. It's great to use it in place of Campari for an interesting change of pace.

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... my new best friend the bartender explain it was artichoke based...

Most likely Cynar, an Italian artichoke based bitter liquor. It's great to use it in place of Campari for an interesting change of pace.

yep, I think that was it. Very interesting taste!

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Went to pegu on my recent first time NY trip. everything was excellent. Bought myself some of Regan's bitters (can't get them in my area.) Had some excellent cocktails. I really liked the atmosphere. It was very warm and welcoming. The staff were all excellent, informative, and professional. I've never seen a bartender shake two drinks that fast before. My pineapple pisco sour had a perfect head on it, like meringue. Who wants to open a club near Boston for me?

Sean

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Realized I never posted my blog photos of Pegu drinks here! For those who are interested...this is a Last Word:

gallery_28660_2588_13326.jpg

And this is my friend Cristin's Jamaican Firefly!

gallery_28660_2588_228.jpg

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i went last night with this guy i'm dating.

definitely delicious cocktails...

i think i had the whiskey smash and then a manhattan with rye and some specific kind of bitters....

my boy had compass box whiskey, asyla, upon my recommendation, which i think is the world's most delicious whiskey, hands down. and then a tasty gin martini, with cucumber slices, which was nice.

my manhattan was pretty good, altho i think i didn't really prefer it to a makers manhattan up with 3 cherries made by any decent bartender.....

the whiskey smash was pretty cool, i can't remember what was in it except whiskey, mint, bitters, maybe orange?

the ice cubes are phenominal. huge. they don't melt.

but is this idea so revolutionary? huge ice cubes? fresh juices, soda out of glass?

surely someone else in new york can do it at that level with a better view then houston street and a sexier room?

my server wasn't really warm and genuine. she was sort of bitchy, for lack of a better word. well, i can think of a better word, but it may not be apropriate for some of the people who read and post on this messageboard.

then again, pegu club may be very serious around 1 am, i went around 7 pm....


Edited by chefboy24 (log)

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donbert   
my server wasn't really warm and genuine. she was sort of bitchy, for lack of a better word.  well, i can think of a better word, but it may not be apropriate for some of the people who read and post on this messageboard.

then again, pegu club may be very serious around 1 am, i went around 7 pm....

If you want serious, sit at the bar. It is a totally different experience. Earlier is better too, as is avoiding fri and sat night.

edited for spelling


Edited by donbert (log)

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Yup. The waitresses are kind of "eh," in my experience. The bar is where it's at.

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slkinsey   
the ice cubes are phenominal. huge. they don't melt.

but is this idea so revolutionary?  huge ice cubes? fresh juices, soda out of glass?

surely someone else in new york can do it at that level with a better view then houston street and a sexier room?

Pegu Club is a place that I think most anyone can appreciate. But just like with haute cuisine and sushi and anything else at a certain level, I think there are things one needs to have a certain amount of experience and education in to fully appreciate about a place like Pegu Club.

To make a comparison, let's suppose someone walks into Sushi Yasuda, sits at a table instead of the bar, orders a California roll and a few pieces of salmon nigiri sushi, then says: "Is that it? Is this idea so revolutionary? Super-fresh fish and high quality rice? Surely it can't be too hard to do sushi on this level in a nicer location?" (Substitute any top haute restaurant in a similar scenario, like walking into Daniel and having a simple roast chicken.)

Now... you might say: "Um... If it were easy to do sushi on that level, everyone would be doing it. Maybe it's possible that you didn't quite take advantage of everything Sushi Yasuda has to offer, and maybe it's the case that you don't quite understand enough about sushi to fully appreciate what they're doing there." Indeed, this is something we have seen written in these forums time and time again about various restaurants and diners.

All of which is to say that there are plenty of revolutionary things about Pegu Club. There aren't too many bars that carry over 20 different bottlings of gin and have bartenders with the knowledge and skills to take advantage of the distinctive properties of all those different gins. There aren't too many bars where you can choose from a menu of distinctive cocktails created by a top mixologist like Audrey and her staff. There aren't too many bars staffed with bartenders who have such a comprehensive knowledge of mixology that they can make all the classics, no matter how obscure -- and if they don't know it from memory, they're happy to consult the first printing of The Gentleman's Companion or one of the other legendary classic reference books behind the bar. There aren't too many bars staffed with bartenders who can create a custom progression of cocktails for customers on the fly based on a spirit, flavor, concept or style. There aren't too many bars that are using only top quality ingredients like Kold Draft ice cubes, fresh juices, soda out of bottles rather than a gun, etc. I could go on. But suffice it to say that, yea, Pegu Club is a special place and no, there aren't a lot of places that are even remotely in the same league.

But, again, depending on the person and the circumstance, I think it's entirely possible to go in there and not be blown away. Just like it's possible to go into Sushi Yasuda or Daniel and not be blown away. Next time, try sitting at the bar on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evening, branch out a little more with your cocktail choices and let the bartenders guide you. I think you'll have a more favorable impression.

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I think that if you go to Pegu Club looking at it as a bar or club to hang out in, you'll wonder what all the excitement is. ("Can't there be a better view and a sexier room?") Pegu Club is fine for social interactions, of course, but to me it's more like a restaurant whose specialty dishes are cocktails. Meaning you concentrate on the cocktails the way you concentrate at the sushi at Yasuda. To me, asking for a better view or a sexier room at Yasuda would miss the point, just as it does at Pegu Club.*

__________________________________________________

* Having said that, of course you can get to a point where decor or atmosphere detracts from the experience, as it does at Cafe Gray and (reportedly) Urena. But I don't think that's what we're talking about here.

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slkinsey   

I actually think that the comparison of a bar like Pegu Club to a sushi place like Yasuda works pretty well. There are a lot of the same elements and considerations at play.

Edited to add: FWIW, I think Pegu Club has a very sexy room.


Edited by slkinsey (log)

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(Although, ironically, the decor in Yasuda is very nice -- even sexy -- and, I think, definitely part of the appeal. In that sense, in a way, Pegu might be more like Karuma Zushi, where, when you walk through the door and look at the room, you definitely think, "what's so special about this?")


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

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