Dave keeps a running list of interesting bars and restaurants he reads about or sees on television. An establishment can work its way onto Dave’s list for its beer selection, cocktail creations or innovative menu. My wife and I took a small vacation to New York City a few weeks ago and decided to pull a few names off of Dave’s list that were known for their cocktails and make an evening out of it. Here are our Cocktail Chronicles from our visit to Manhattan.
Our first stop was the Bubble Lounge in Tribeca (228 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013). As the name reflects, it had a very large Champagne selection. This was a very hip place. I was a big fan of all the exposed brick inside. However, there was nothing interesting in the champagne choices (we had just as wide a selection at our KegWorks tasting) so we decided to try the cocktail menu. Julie had the Riviera (Clement Shrubb Rum, muddled strawberries, ginger and champagne served in Chardonnay wine glass) and I had the Good Dog (Bulldog Gin, Stolichnaya Vodka, Lynchee Syrup and Orange Peel served in a martini glass). The Lynchee syrup was made from a purée of the Asian Lynchee fruit, which I had never tried before. Neither of us was overly thrilled with the drinks and crappy service so we moved along.
Since it was unusually warm that night, we walked the 12 blocks uptown to the Pegu Club (77 West Houston Street, 2nd Floor. New York, NY 10012). This was well worth the walk and by far the best stop of the night. Be sure to check out the web site and read the back story on what it is named after. It’s an interesting read.
I apologize in advance if my drink ingredients are not exact. My notes are a bit fuzzy. It was quite dark inside Pegu.
I started with the signature drink “the Pegu.” From the menu:
“Crisp, snappy and fairly potent; just the way we like ‘em. London Dry Gin, Angostura bitters Orange Bitters, Orange Curacao and Fresh Lime Juice”…Fantastic!
Julie had the Applejack Cobbler (Fresh Cranberries, Laird’s Applejack, Apple Schnapps, Orange Juice, Pomegranate Syrup and Angostura Bitters served in a martini glass garnished with a pansy)…also given a positive review from the wife.
There were so many things on the drink menu I wanted to try I moved on to my next selection while Julie continued to work on her first. The Earl Grey MarTEAni is now my favorite cocktail, which is an honor I do not bestow lightly. Earl Grey infused Plymouth Gin, Lemon Juice, and Raw Egg White (relax Rocky…the egg white is just to froth the drink, you can’t taste it) garnished with a lemon twist, served in a martini glass rimmed with super fine sugar.
I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed everything about the Pegu Club. Great atmosphere, top notch service and unbelievable drinks with a meticulous attention to detail. I can’t wait to go back to spend an entire evening enjoying the cocktail selection.
Our next stop was Death and Company. (No address or link…screw Death and Company). I obviously was not cool enough to get in. As the pretentious doorman told me, there were a few parties of two ahead of us, but to give him my cell phone number and he would give us a call if something opened up. If we didn’t get a call by 11:30 they would no be able to get us in. Needless to say they didn’t call….shocking. I was very disappointed because it was Saturday night in Soho and I wasn’t sure if we would be able to buy a ridiculously overpriced drink anywhere else.
Continuing our journey, we continued our walk uptown to the Blue Owl. The drink menu was interesting but the place was so packed we really could not enjoy it. Julie had grown tired of the esotaric drinks and settled back into her vodka, soda twist standard. The Bobby Burns did catch my eye. Made with Famous Grouse Scotch, Sweet and Dry Vermouth and Benedictine, I had high hopes for Bobby because of the Famous Grouse Scotch Whiskey (proud sponsor of the Scottish national rugby team), but sadly all you tasted was the vermouth. I’m guessing that Bobby has some potential, but the large crowd caused the resident mixologists to focus more on quantity than quality. With that we bid all the wanna-be hipsters farewell and headed back to midtown for some quality Celtic punk and too much Guinness and Jameson.
- I’m a sucker for Irish pubs, especially between 6th and 7th. Go see Emma, pictured at right, at O’Brien’s on 46th… (It cracks me up when people stick coins into the ice that forms on glycol beer towers.) Don’t miss Black 47 at Connolly’s on 45th on Saturday nights.
- I’m way too old to think I can hang with an FDNY academy graduation party. I know better than this…but add the Pig and Whistle to the Irish pub list above.
- Drinking in Buffalo skews your perception of what things cost. It is inexpensive to drink here (a $3.50 beer is considered expensive). So when a glass of Lagavulin 16 year Old Single Malt costs $18 you chalk it up to drinking in Manhattan. Until you get a pour like this…$18 for this would be a bargain anywhere.
[techtags: NYC, BUBBLE LOUNGE, PEGU CLUB, DEATH AND COMPANY, BLUE OWL, IRISH PUB]