Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

ATTABOY, 134 Eldridge Street (between Delancey and Broome Street), Lower East Side

The Black Watch cocktail isn’t listed on Attaboy’s menu because the unmarked cocktail bar doesn’t have a menu or even a regular roster of cocktails. What it does have are skilled bartenders who can whip up something great based on how you’re feeling. Our bartender (Brandon) was amazing. He listened to what kind of cocktails we were in the mood for, mixed up something from his back pocket, and then without an iota of pretention had a conversation with us about the drinks.

When Milk & Honey, the pioneer in throwback speakeasy cocktail bars (you originally needed an unlisted phone number to gain access) moved uptown, Attaboy opened in its place. A year later on New Year’s Eve, I finally got to visit it and I can say it’s just as good and as much as fun as the first time I discovered the narrow little bar hidden behind a mysterious gray door on the outskirts of Chinatown.

Our bartender had clearly worked at Milk & Honey before and he responded quickly to my request for a brown spirited cocktail with bitter, smoky, spicy, and warming notes.

Black Watch at ATTABOY

What appeared before me was called the Black Watch and it was exactly what I was hoping for. Brandon stirred up a blend of Highland Scotch (smooth and spiced), Laphroaig scotch (smoky and peaty), and a wash of coffee liqueur. He served it Old Fashioned style with a dash of sugar. It was perfectly balanced with a hint of smoke, spice, and lots of warming flavors for a bitterly cold night.

Doesn’t matter what you like to drink, you’ll have a great time at Attaboy. Work up your courage, knock on the right door (there’s no phone number), and put your faith in the bartenders. You’ll be delighted with the results.

ATTABOY
134 Eldridge Street (between Delancey and Broome Street),
Lower East Side
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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