• 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

I think it might be interesting to note, as a sort of side comment here, that the only thing I don't like about the Flatiron Lounge is that, at least during the after-work period, it has this very crowded young-professionals pick-up-type scene going on (or at least, it has every time I've been there during that time period). Now I've got nothing against Young People Meeting Each Other -- the world must be peopled -- but, to me, it detracts from the seriousness of the cocktails. It's just too hard to concentrate on them. It almost seems to me that, if that's the kind of place you're going to be, you don't need to put so much care into your mixology.

I'm not sure where I think I'm going with this. Other than perhaps to note how lucky it is that a place like the Pegu Club seems to have found its best audience for the most part. And to wonder how many places like that even a big market can sustain (the Milk & Honey group have all pretty much succeeded in this regard as well).

(And also, I guess, to make sure that Julie will never speak to me again.)


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with you entirely.

(indeed, one friend of mine who frequently posts on egullet but shall remain nameless had exactly that reaction to both Pegu Club and Sushi Yasuda "what's the big deal?")

I think Flatiron Lounge runs into the problem that it hasn't had the PR of Pegu Club or the M&H joints....I know a fair amount of people who've stopped there for a vodka tonic or a glass of wine...never realizing that it was a cocktail mecca...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Edited to add: FWIW, I think Pegu Club has a very sexy room.

Yeah, sexy enough, certainly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i see your points. but.

does anyone really (or should anyone?) go to a place for the sole reason to enjoy the "genius" of mixology of a perfect cocktail?

no. one goes to enjoy the company of their friends, the relaxation, the buzz, the alcohol, the room, the vibe.

while i love a great meal at per se, part of the whole per se experience is the energy in that room, what the room looks like, the view, the people, and the company you're with.

the "genius" of pegu club didn't go over my head. believe me. that's border line insulting. i do apreciate the gin and whiskey and bourbon and ice cubes and juices........ but then again ... how many gins do you need? i need one good one. maybe 2. and there is nothing wrong with that.

sitting at a sushi bar for sushi has obvious appeal to me and is pretty self explanitory.

people like to watch chefs at work.

do people like to watch bartenders at work? its cool for a bit but ultimately you are there to drink.

but since when in new york do people ever go somewhere for drinks to be educated and have a whole "experience"

for me to go enjoy drinks in some location in new york.... it is for a social and relaxing (or maybe even business) purpose, not some sort of bartender / mixologist worship. please.

it would be akin to going to jean georges with your significant other or best friend and talking about nothing except the food for two and a half hours. theres more to a meal then the preparation of the foodstuffs on your plate.... and theres more to a great bar then the quality of ingredients in your drink and the skill of the bartender.

A good metaphor for me is going to a nightclub to see a DJ. Are you going to worship a master at work? (and some of them are). Or are you going to enjoy the whole experience of the club....the vibe, the room, the energy, the new people, the old friends.... There's more to a great night out then a genius dj. Know what I'm sayin?


Edited by chefboy24 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it might be interesting to note, as a sort of side comment here, that the only thing I don't like about the Flatiron Lounge is that, at least during the after-work period, it has this very crowded young-professionals pick-up-type scene going on (or at least, it has every time I've been there during that time period).

Flatiron Lounge is absolutely one of the best cocktail spots in the country, make no mistake about that. But, for better or worse, it's located on 19th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. That means that they're going to get a certain kind of crowd at certain times and on certain days of the week. If Pegu Club were next door to Flatiron Lounge, you'd see exactly the same thing there. And remember that Pegu Club at 11 on a Friday night isn't always exactly a cocktail monastery.

Also... for what it's worth, and this is something we've chatted about a few times, I don't think Julie is going for "serious" or "cocktail shrine" at Flatiron. She's looking for great high-end cocktails, of course, but also for highly accessible high-end cocktails and a fun vibe for the neighborhood. Flatiron succeeds on all these points, and is absolutely a destination spot for the serious cocktailian at the right times.

But yea, I agree... the "after work twentysomething rush" times aren't exactly "our times" for FL.

does anyone really (or should anyone?) go to a place for the sole reason to enjoy the "genius" of mixology of a perfect cocktail?

Yes. I do. And I think it's quite clear that plenty of other people in these forums do as well. But then again, as with restaurants and sushi bars, etc. people have different reasons to go. If your reasons for visiting a high-end cocktail bar like Pegu are not the same as ours, then it makes sense that you won't "get it" the way we get it. This isn't to say that you don't "get it" entirely -- just perhaps that your "getting it" is different from ours.

From what you have written, it seems that the reasons you visit bars and consume cocktails are not the same as ours. I think if you read back through these posts, you will see a lot of people saying that they visit Pegu Club for reasons that exactly contradict statements you have made. They do like watching bartenders work, they're not ultimately just "there to drink," they do think there is something to be said for having more than one kind of gin, they do go to enjoy the genius of a perfect cocktail, they do go to be "educated and have a whole 'experience,'" etc, etc, etc.

That's okay. Nothing wrong with that. Like I said, there are plenty of people who "won't get" Sushi Yasuda the same way an experienced sushi enthusiast will, or "won't get" Daniel the way an experienced fine dining enthusiast will. Doesn't mean that Sushi Yasuda isn't the brilliant sushi bar everyone says it is, though, or that Daniel isn't also great.

I should add, for what it's worth, that there's nothing insulting intended in suggesting that some people are more experienced in cocktails and therefore able to understand and appreciate things about them that others are not. I think we would all agree that this is the case with haute cuisine, sushi, opera, painting, architecture, ballet, wine, etc. Certainly I know that there are things professionals like Audrey and Dave can appreciate about cocktails on a level and in a context that I can't.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank goodness Pegu is there for those who do "get it." It is not for everyone and it isn't trying to be either. I wouldn't appreciate Sushi Yasuda since while I like sushi, I'm not aware of the finer points that a sushi enthusiast would recognize and truly appreciate. If chefboy24 didn't think Pegu lived up to all the hype, then just leave it at that. I'm in the group that would go there to enjoy the "genius" of that perfectly mixed cocktail. I would definitely look to sit at the bar and enjoy the show! Someday!


KathyM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand what you're saying, too, Chefboy. But I don't think anybody here is calling for anything analogous to sitting around for two hours at Jean-Georges and not talking about anything but the food. To people like me, though, what you're saying is more like, sure the food at Jean-Georges is good, but the place is so BORING: why can't it be more like Tao (there's a blast from the past for ya) or Buddakan?

I think your club DJ metaphor, in a way, shows what a different place you're coming from than someone like me. Cuz I'd analogize Pegu Club more to going to a jazz club, where the appropriate thing to do is to concentrate on the music. My point being, you keep raising comparisons to party spots, which I don't think is what Pegu Club tries to be.

(Obligatory note that I don't mean to be antagonistic in the least.)

but then again ... how many gins do you need?  i need one good one. maybe 2.  and there is nothing wrong with that.

Didn't you once say you worked as a sommelier? (Sorry if I'm confusing you with someone else.)

If someone said, "how many white wines do you need? I need one good one, maybe two, and there's nothing wrong with that," wouldn't your response be pretty contemptuous?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well said. its just inconceivable for me to experience a place like that just for the drinks. but i guess for others its hard to really see why or even fathom the point of sitting at a sushi bar for sushi......

its not about a "party spot", per se (no pun intended), but about a total experience.

speaking of experience, i think its nice when a host or maitre d seat you at your table somewhere and say "enjoy your experience" or "enjoy yourselves" rather then "enjoy your meal."

per se would be an experience. and so is pegu club.

i'd rather be drinking interesting vin de terroir like a good burgundy anyway, i'm not much of a liquor afficianado

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been dying to go to the Pegu Club since I first heard about it, but I'm on a pretty tight budget these days. However, I'm finally going splurge and go for my birthday tomorrow night. I love a well made cocktail, but I rarely drink them outside of my home for the aforementioned budget reasons. I can't do whiskey at all due to too many times overdoing it in my teens. So, what's not to be missed? I think the Jimmie Roosevelt sounds like a must, but what else? I'll probably have 3 drinks or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Jimmy isn't currently on the menu, but they can certainly make it for you. I just had one the other night.

Honestly, your best bet is to go there, sit at the bar, look over the menu and talk to the bartenders about what you might like. That's the beauty of a place like Pegu Club.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal favorite (so far) is the Earl Grey MarTEAni, for the novelty of bergamot in a cocktail, their use of egg whites, and the balance of the drink overall.


Drink maker, heart taker!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been to Pegu Club yet. Is it a place to go with someone where you actually want to carry on a conversation? Or, is it all "scene"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's definitely a conversation place. That said... there is no such thing as a "conversation place" Manhattan bar on Friday or Saturday nights, and there are times it can get somewhat full, if never exactly "crowded."

But if you go there on a Tuesday or Wednesday, for example, you should be fine.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh good. i'm going there in a little while and we do want to talk.

tks for the reassurance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That said... there is no such thing as a "conversation place" Manhattan bar on Friday or Saturday nights

Hey, there's got to be at least 1 or 2 on the island out of the 10,000 or so that would fit that definition on Friday or Saturday.


Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oh good. i'm going there in a little while and we do want to talk.

tks for the reassurance.

Be sure to let us know how you liked it. :smile:


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow. i really enjoyed Pegu. it's a nice atmosphere, dark, quiet, cozy feeling but spacious, nice jazz plays in the backround, and very pleasant service. i met a small group of friends, and they gave us a very comfortable table. we had so many tasty drinks it's hard to keep track of- the tantric sidecar, something with pear and a whiff of spice, and earl grey martini, the pineapple pisco sour and some sort of negroni. there were others, but it's hard to remember them all- i was catching up with friends i hadn't seen in any months, so we weren't focusing on the drinks. when i go again, i'll sit at the bar and pay attention. dark as it was, i still noticed that the drinks had lovely garnishes. they also had the most amazing aromas, i've never noticed cocktails smelling so good before- especially the pisco. how do they do it? i want to do that. wow!

between 9:30 and 1 ish, it got quite crowded, especially for a tuesday. the bar was full before 11, and most of the tables were gone by midnight. aside from spurts of rowdiness from one group at the bar (which felt really out of place) the vibe was mellow and grown up- all too rare for a lounge in nyc. we all enjoyed it a great deal. i am going back again soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, after all the anticipation, I was a little disappointed by Pegu Club. For our first round I had the Jimmie Roosevelt which I had read so much about here. Perhaps it was because I had already had more than my fair share of a bottle of wine, but I could barely handle it. The only flavor I could detect was that of the Cognac. My husband had the Jamaican Firefly, which I liked better than mine, but I think that after about half of it, he began to get tired of the very strong ginger flavor. For our second round we asked for suggestions from the bartender who produced two delicious drinks. For me it was a rum cobbler with fresh raspberries, and my husband got a Crescent City Cooler which had gin, pineapple juice, cointreau and other stuff I can't remember. By this point I was quite drunk, so another round was out of the question. I did have a good time, the bartender was great, and our second round was perfect, but I don't think I'll be back any time soon. Unfortunately Pegu Club will have to remain a special occasion place for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somebody has to say something about their Fabulous New Summer Menu.

Last night, I had a Lemon Thyme Daquiri (what it sounds like), a Lil Jig (tequila, yellow chartreuse, Thai basil, other stuff), and a [swedish name] Fizz (aquavit, coriander, egg white, other stuff).

They were all fantastic.

The Lemon Thyme Daquiri was dangerous, cuz it's the kind of thing you could drink like seven of and not realize what you've done.

The star, though, was the Lil Jig. I wouldn't necessarily think of chartreuse with tequila. But the chartreuse and the basil gave it a unique and highly pleasing flavor. It just kind of lit up my mouth.


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Somebody has to say something about their Fabulous New Summer Menu.

Last night, I had a Lemon Thyme Daquiri (what it sounds like), a Lil Jig (tequila, yellow chartreuse, Thai basil, other stuff), and a [swedish name] Fizz (aquavit, coriander, egg white, other stuff).

They were all fantastic.

The Lemon Thyme Daquiri was dangerous, cuz it's the kind of thing you could drink like seven of and not realize what you've done.

The star, though, was the Lil Jig.  I wouldn't necessarily think of chartreuse with tequila.  But the chartreuse and the basil gave it a unique and highly pleasing flavor.  It just kind of lit up my mouth.

Its funny that you mention the Lemon Thyme Daquiri. My wife and I stopped there for the first time yesterday, while waiting for a table to open up at Next Door Nobu (I know a long walk but worth it). My wife had the Daquiri and enjoyed it tremendously. I had the Pegu Club Cocktail and while flavorful, was a little strong. I pressed on for a second drink - a Ramos Gin Fizz and was glad I did. What a wonderful drink and great show. I will defintely be back. Next on my list is the Earl Grey Tea Martini and maybe an off the list drink like a Floridita Daquiri.


Edited by bgut1 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Summer Menu, let me also put in a plug for the French Pearl, a great drink that johnder -- or, I think, actually, johnder's incredibly lovely wife -- turned me on to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will join in - had a couple of French Pearls the other night, as well as a ginger-y gin drink from the summer menu (name forgotten) - all awesome, as usual for Pegu.

The bartenders are incredibly nice and I do believe we're quite lucky to have this place in our city.

Finished with a pizza at Arturo's - along with Pegu, just two of the reasons I love NY so much!


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dropped by Pegu tonight and I can concur that the Gin-Gine Mule is indeed tasty. As was the French Pearl (gin, pernod, lime, mint). All the flavors are so clean and fresh and amazingly well balanced. Truly superior cocktails.

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.