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

While some people are ringing in the New Year’s at a house party or (God forbid) huddled with millions of people in the middle of Times Square, I like to go hopping around to some of the hottest cocktail bars in the city that I have yet to visit.

You might be surprised at how many bars offer their regular menu without an overpriced prix-fixe or cover charge, Those are the ones I like to visit – where it’s business as usual.

And the holiday was a fitting occasion to finally visit BlackTail, which has been getting a lot of positive buzz. It’s the second bar from the folks behind The Dead Rabbit and a welcome addition to a quiet neighborhood when it comes to cocktail bars.

The bar, which is slightly hidden on the second floor of Pier A’s oyster and beer hall, provides an escape from the city to Prohibition-era Cuba where American bartenders could legally pour great drinks.

Just like The Dead Rabbit, this place has amazing food (I was especially wowed by the sugarcane shrimp with grilled pineapple) and a playbook of cocktails (ranging from highballs to sours to punches). Also, if you are here alone (or really hate your date), there’s an encyclopedia worth of historic cocktail stories.

There was such an extensive and creative menu that it was nearly impossible for me to decide which to order. I ended up with three cocktails (it was New Year’s Eve) and it was the final sipper that truly wowed me.

Arawak fell under the Old Fashioned section (spirit-forward cocktails with bitters and sugar) and it was fantastic. In addition to Puerto Rican rum and Italian vermouth, the drink was layered with nutty sherry, bold coffee, and bitter Campari. It had a rich mouthfeel similar to a Negroni but had surprising finishing notes of cocoa nib, vanilla, and a touch of absinthe. And it was a great way to ring in the New Year! Price: $16

BLACKTAIL
22 Battery Place (at Little West Street),
Pier A Harbor House,
2nd Floor,
Battery Park
(212) 785-0153
blacktailnyc.com
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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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