Tuesday, January 13, 2009
So I spent most of my seven nights last week having cocktails at several hot cocktail spots in the borough of Manhattan. The mini blitz of cocktail joints have not just to do with the fact that I love a good cocktail (as I also play in a little cocktail mixology) but I’ve taken on a project to write about cocktails in NYC for a website. The site soon to be revealed hails from my hometown of San Francisco and will soon be making its premiere in NY for your drinking pleasure. Details to follow as the project progresses.
My first stop on Monday was Tribeca's Macao Trading Co. A bi-level restaurant decked with antiques to evoke "the 1940s portside feel of Macao’s red lantern district." The Employees Only crew collaborated with David Waltuck (chef/owner of Chanterelle) on this beautifully reincarnated space that was formerly the Sugar Room. Although I only had cocktails there, the sights and aromas in the air was more than enough to lure me back for dinner sooner than later. Tuesday, I hit one my favorites Angels Share, a speakeasy tucked inside a sushi bar thru an unmarked door located in the East Village. My friend Shigei the lead mixologist is one of the most finessed barmen out here and I personally love the fact that the menu is comprised of classic cocktails as well as their house cocktails named after famous jazz tracks. Thursday and next on the list was Apoteke, once an opium den where I had pleasure once again to walk down the infamous Doyers alley that just a couple decades ago hosted Chinatowns most notorious gangsters and gangland activity. Esteban one of the lead mixologists and long time colleague to Albert Trummer had me stunned silly with his tequila based “Sweet and Vicious”. Moving on to Friday, I made my way to BoBo, the beautifully bohemian duplex of a restaurant in the West Village where my good buddy Naren the cocktailian jet setter (my take on his lifestyle), added a tongue and cheek style to the cocktail menu and served me a delicious blue elixir followed by toasty and spicy truffle butter rum cocktail. Mmmmm. To end my Friday I slid over to the notorious GoldBar where my good friend Tim designed the cocktail menu and laid out one of the most elaborate tastings of the week. Out of the all the cocktails I had (too many to count) I’d have to say the standout was the cocktail fit for the season, the Pumpkin Egg Nog. It was another warm cocktail for this cold evening with Spice infused Hennessey, Navan Vanilla cognac, Pumpkin Puree, Egg Nog and Maple syrup. Mmmm. The libations put us in the mood and sent us to groove as we got to rub elbows with the likes of Benicio Del Toro amongst others. It was a great night. To end the week on Sunday, I made my way over to Gutter, the vintage bowling alley in Williamsburg for a surprise Bday party. Upon arrival I dove straight into their Bloody Marias (tequila) that were spicy to my liking and a great way to spend an end to a great week of cocktail tastings. Now the fun begins. I’ve got to collect all the cocktail napkins with my notes and make sense of it all.
At your service,
Monday, January 5, 2009
As I have in the past three years, I had the pleasure to Dj the New Year in with the Avroko restaurant family. The first 2 at Public, their first restaurant now a Nolita institution and this past NYE at their new venture Double Crown. This year, the Bollywood theme had us up to our manicured eyebrows in bindis, saris, champagne and tons of antics. As you entered the space lavished in colored lights and lotus flowers, an androgynous deity greeted you with a glass of champagne while in a standing yoga position. To include everyone in the experience there was a make up area where you could get an intricate Double Crown tattoo, make up and a bindi. Themed parties are so much fun when the guests get involved and with all the staff in costume it was an outrageously transcending experience. I'm now a fan of “Mission to Mars” the band brought in for a live set that consisted of a sitar player and throat singer backed with an electric guitarist and a drummer. They played a rockin electronic breakbeat set for the “wedding ceremony” of the 2 beauties and a half human half horse being. An exotic belly dancer completed the performance and seduced the crowd with swirls of snake-like hip moves while balancing a tray of lit candles on her head. The temperature rose about 20 degrees. You had to have been there to see all this in action. To keep the heat going, Tamer and I took the reigns and dropped a hard mix of electro and house music to set the dance floor on fire. It was an all-you-can-dance boogie buffet to bring in 2009! Special thanks to Nacho who started the evening with a musical trip around the world.
Happy New Year!!
At your service,