two down, two hundred to go

[by john]

i've been doing a lot of traveling lately, which means a lot of new bars to visit. rough, i know.

in my latest trip to nyc, i practically had to drag my guy to two cocktail bars. (with cheap happy hour specials and gimmicks like 5 shots for $10, why pay the equivalent of 75 dumplings for a drink? which is a valid point - despite all the cheap food and booze establishments in new york, why are cocktails 50% more expensive than in boston? suffer on, drink geeks.)

pegu club

'man, i had no idea how asian this place was.' i uttered this to te and steven at some point after noting in the geometric wooden window screens, the waitresses' kimono-esque dresses, and, uh, our bartender. apparently, the place is inspired by an old officer's club in burma.

i got a kill devil (rhum agricole, green chartreuse, sugar, bitters), which was agreed to be 'odd'. my guy got an improved strawberry daiquiri with thai basil (it came through great) and an omniscient-third-person view of a first date. steven stuck with a little italy (rye, sweet vermouth, cynar), which was solid, and apparently a pegu original - surprising since i've seen it elsewhere.

the bartending was slow. inefficient, i would say. we were sitting at the half empty bar, so we saw the slow assembly, one restart (cardinal sin of adding the liquor first and then messing up on the syrup amount), stirring one drink at a time, even though he was using wide beaker mixing glasses, and then letting the stirred drinks sit with ice while the citrus one got shaken. eek! if it weren't for the name on the door, i wouldn't know this is one of the top bars in the world.

overall, unimpressed with the skill and the tepid drink list.


after a wtf moment outside death & co (closed for a private event? on a saturday?!), we rallied and got some vegetarian banh mi before heading to the tequila mecca, mayahuel.

the kitschy (yet somehow believable) glazed tile and wrought iron decor felt cozy, minus the icy blasts of snow whenever someone new entered.

i got a red ant river swizzle (mezcal, sugar cane, absinthe, lime), and my guy continued his variation on a theme with a fresa brava (muddled strawberries, jalepeƱo-infused tequila, and yellow chartreuse). both fine, but not transcendent. no significant complaints, except for the enormous menu, which is almost necessary with such an unfamiliar family of ingredients (except to mike).

but the hipster bartenders commented on my hipster moleskine, so that made it worth the trip.

1 comment:

  1. http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2009/02/24/122-moleskine-notebooks/