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Pegu Club


slkinsey
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They have a new chef as Weinoo pointed out, Philip Kirschen-Clark formerly of Jimmy's 43 and WD-50.

He is revamping the menu totally in terms of food. Had the chance to try most of the dishes Kurl mentioned back a few posts, but my understanding there was a lot more on its way.

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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  • 1 year later...

I was genuinely excited to try the cocktails at Pegu, after all I had read about them. They were good, but there were a few details that I didn't expect.

The thing that surprised me the most is that the bartenders were not tasting the drinks. I went once when it was really packed, and once again when there were maybe 6-7 customers, and I never saw a bartender check the cocktails. This led to what I think were slight mistakes in the execution that could have been easily fixed by tasting them. I ordered a tantris sidecar, and the lemon juice was slightly lacking...an eight of an ounce would have corrected it.

The other thing that I didn't like was the chipped ice that made it to some of my cocktails. I know that it's a matter of preference whether to strain or not a cocktail after shaking, but if you're going to allow the little shards to make it to the drink, they should be super small, and I got a few bigger chunks of ice with my drinks.

I liked the "Little Italy" cocktail. Good take on a Manhattan -- slightly sweet, but nice.

On the whole though, the drinks were good and nice surroundings.

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Pegu Club is a jiggering bar, so there is really little need for repeated tasting. When you will see the bartenders tasting there is when they are working on something or creating something all'improvviso. That said, I have been to Pegu Club many, many times and see bartenders tasting cocktails plenty of times. Maybe you just missed it. Or perhaps you were expecting them to taste every one.

Some bartenders insist on repeated tasting to "correct" cocktails (usually freepouring bartenders -- you may draw your own conclusions) but I have my doubts as to whether this makes much sense. Yes, it makes sense to taste every so often to make sure that the lemon juice hasn't gone off or whatever. But there is a meaningful problem with how well the bartender's tastes as to balance will accord with each individual customer's tastes as to balance, and there is the additional problem of palate fatigue. Differences in taste on the order of what you describe (i.e., that could be fixed to your liking with an eighth ounce of lemon juice) are well within the boundaries of the two problems I describe above. Which is to say that it's entirely possible that the bartender may have tasted your drink and found that it balanced just fine. Or not. There's no way of knowing. The point is that tasting and "micro-adjusting" cocktails is as much pixie dust, performance art and bartender self-aggrandizement as it is anything else.

Of course, it's absolutely possible that a minor mistake was made with the Tantris Sidecar. It's also possible that the formulation wasn't quite to your tastes. The Tantris Sidecar was probably created something like 6-8 years ago. That's a very, very long time for this era in the cocktail revival. The Tantris was cutting-edge when it was created, and it's still a brilliant drink, but may be starting to show its age. Audrey has remarked to me a few times that she thinks it might be time to "update the Tantris." The thing is that it works as a basically sweet drink, and it's a great introduction to the new wave of classic mixology for those just coming to it.

I'm with you on chips of ice. Not my favorite unless you use a technique designed specifically to produce very fine chips (not actually as hard as some would have one believe).

--

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I think you're right. I didn't realize that the tantris sidecar was supposed to be a sweet drink, and maybe my confusion came from there -- I expected the lemon to play a stronger role, and that's why i thought that it needed a bit more.

Look forward to going in the future to try some more drinks!

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  • 2 years later...

My husband and I had a fantastic time during our first visit to Pegu Club last week. We went early (before 6 pm) and sat at the bar. We had a very nice chat with the bartender and one of the patrons. I had to get a Pegu Club, and my husband asked for a daiquiri variation with rhum agricole. They were both great. The Pegu Club is a drink that can be hard to balance but this was perfection. The daiquiri was made with La Favorite blanc.

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I loved the attention to detail which is seen for example in the generous garnishes - the Pegu Club had a scored lime wedge. The space was comfortable and welcoming, and we felt right at home. It's too bad that we live so far away and won't be able to go back for a while.

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  • 7 years later...

I am so sorry to hear this.  I remember it so well from our trip to NYC in 2007.  What I said in that report:

 

"It was turning very cold, so getting to the Pegu club was a relief. Mr. Kim was very suspicious of y’all when we were trying to find it. I think that he thought we were going to be shanghaied! But we opened the door and all that warm red and the jazzy music enveloped us and he was his old trusting self again. We climbed the steps and were instantly comfortable with that atmosphere! Unfortunately, there were no seats available at the bar (I like to watch :raz:), so we found a table and ordered drinks. I distinctly remember writing down what we had and can’t find the paper anywhere. Mr. Kim had something with ginger beer in it and mine had some brandy. Whatever, they were delicious. It was so delightful sitting there sipping a complex, delicious cocktail, listening to beautiful music in those sophisticated surroundings. And watching the lovely YOUNG people. Honestly, I have never felt so old and fat as I did this trip. Everywhere we went, we kept saying, “we are the oldest and fattest people here.” It was very odd. In Richmond, we are rather attractive and au courant. In NYC? Not so much."

 

Thirteen years older and I'd still love to sit in those surroundings with that music and truly be attended to by those lovely children!

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16 hours ago, Eatmywords said:

Sad to hear.  15yr run?  Pretty good for NYC.  Have cocktail lounges been on the decline (pre-covid)?   


No doubt cocktail bars have seen their heyday come and go.  It’s hard for anyone to be just one thing these days. Lots of places make great cocktails and also have food, beer and wine. 
there are some death and co and pouring ribbons still doing their thing but, the days of a few cocktail bars in every neighborhood are long gone. Now you can get a good cocktail with your brunch, or burger or meal.  

Edited by BKEats (log)
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Maybe covid w sprout a come back.  You've got an army practicing diligently from home for a couple months now.  They'll be primed to go public w their new interest. 🤪

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That wasn't chicken

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