Tag Archives: Cocktails

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.

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I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

The thought of an avocado margarita might not be the most appetizing, but when its made with smoky mezcal, lime juice, cucumbers, and a spicy chile bitters, you get a complex sweet/tart/spicy/refreshing cocktail that is a real game-changer. The avocado adds a rich creaminess that ensures this balanced quaff fires on all cylinders. Price: $15
SWEETWATER SOCIAL
643 Broadway (at Bleecker Street),
Noho
(212) 253-0477
http://www.drinksweetwater.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

Leave it to me to visit one of the best new speakeasies and not even have a cocktail. I studied the menu and watched the bartenders work their magic at Karasu, hidden behind the local restaurant Walter’s, but I didn’t order a drink because I was on my way to give a tour (and I try to stay somewhat sober for those). But I came here to check out the place (which is awesome) and have some dinner.  The food, like the cocktails, are Japanese-inspired. And the softly breaded and incredibly tender fried chicken pieces with dipping sauces almost makes up for the lack of alcohol. Price: $11
KARASU
166 Dekalb Avenue (at Cumberland Street),
Behind Walter’s Restaurant
(347) 223-4811
Fort Greene, Brooklyn
karasubk.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

2016 was a tough year. From a whirlwind political circus to the loss of many beloved celebrities to worldwide tragedies, the news was full of sad things. But there was still joy out there and as usual, I found a lot of that joy through food. And here in New York, these are the 10 dishes that gave me the most joy….

NUMBER 10: HOT DOG at FELTMAN’S OF CONEY ISLAND

A Coney Island historian named Michael Quinn bought the Feltman’s brand this year. For those that don’t know, Charles Feltman was the originally creator of the hot dog in 1867 and was the employer of the more famous Nathan’s. Pepper and garlic flavors explode with each snap of the lamb casing. The warm grilled sauerkraut and homemade apple cider vinegar mustard plus the addition of no nitrates or chemicals help put this in the running for best hot dog in the city. Price: $4

FELTMAN’S OF CONEY ISLAND
80 St. Marks Place (between First and Second Avenue),
Inside William Barnacle Tavern,
East Village
https://www.facebook.com/Feltmans-of-Coney-Island

NUMBER 9: PUEBLA DRINK WITH NO NAME at MAYAHUEL

It’s no secret that I love Mayahuel. It’s become one of my favorite bars, visiting it often on the Craft Cocktail tour but also bringing friends who are in town by for a drink. I was looking for a smooth, chocolatey drink to pair with their excellent churros and one of the servers suggested this classic. It has no name (well, sort of) but lots of intense flavors – spicy and smoky mezcal infused with chile de arbol, a moscatel sherry infused with ancho cili, some aged rum, cacao, and mole bitters. It’s modeled after a Oaxacan mole sauce, but it’s also the perfect final sipper to a night out. Price: $15

MAYAHUEL
304 East 6th Street (between First and Second Avenue),
East Village
(212) 253-58888
mayahuelny.com

NUMBER 8: KUBANEH BREAD at TIMNA

It’s hard for me to justify paying for a basket of bread. But this is not just any basket of bread. It’s called kubaneh and is a traditional Yemenite breakfast bread with a yeasty, steamy center. It arrives in a flowerpot with accompaniments of jalapeño salsa, crushed tomatoes, and a dollop of yogurt. Each piece rips apart easily and releases aroma and steam that adds to the experience. This slightly sweet, soft and tender bread disappeared too quickly. It had the sweetness of a brioche, the softness of a popover, and the brownness of a pretzel. Imagine that lovechild. Price: $12

TIMNA
109 St. Marks Place (between First Avenue and Avenue A),
East Village
(646) 964-5181
timna.nyc

NUMBER 7: CLASSIC BURGER at SALVATION BURGER

After Salvation Burger finally re-opened following a debilitating fire, I finally made it up to check out April Bloomfield’s hip, swanky burger palace. I was hesitant to spend so much money for a burger and even more doubtful that it would be worth it. It well-exceeded my highest expectations. The classic burger is modelled after thin-patty fast food burgers but it’s full of meaty char and topped with a secret cheesy sauce, sweet caramlized onions, and bold tangy pickles. If McDonald’s burgers tasted this good, I would have a serious problem. Price: $17

SALVATION BURGER
230 East 51st Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue),
Inside the Pod 51 Hotel
Midtown East
(646) 277-2900
salvationburger.com

NUMBER 6: PANDI-ICE CREAM at HOUSE OF INASAL

We’ve all probably had an ice cream sandwich, but not necessarily one quite like this. The popular Filipino street food is composed of sweet eggy pandesal bread that is toasted and liberally painted with thick halaya, which is ube (purple sweet potato) jam. Then it’s topped with a scoop of the same deep purple-colored ice cream. And finally, it’s garnished with some pinipig (crunchy rice) and young coconut. It’s sweet, warm, cold, crunchy, and absolutely luxurious.  Price: $5.50

HOUSE OF INASAL
65-14 Roosevelt Avenue (between 67th Street and 65th Place),
Woodside, Queens
(718) 429-0709
houseofinasal.com

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

KOBRICK COFFEE CO., 24 Ninth Avenue (between West 13th and West 14th Street), Meatpacking DistrictI love coffee, but I can only drink so much before it manages to keep me up all night. I also love cocktails, but I can only drink so many before I completely pass out. The solution?? Coffee cocktails!!!

I’m only half kidding as I don’t want my heart to explode, but that might have been thinking at Kobrick Coffee Co.

Last year, the almost century-old coffee roaster and wholesaler opened up a bar and café in the heart of the fashionable Meatpacking District. The idea is that during the day, coffee reigns supreme and you can get a selection of beans brewed many different ways. But also, this is a full-on cocktail bar. And get this: an entire page of the cocktail menu is dedicated to coffee cocktails.

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Come back every Wednesday for another funny, informative video documenting my inept food adventures. In Locals Know, I explore a new city through the tours of Urban Adventures.

Last year, I helped design a tour for Urban Adventures that has been a huge success (if I do say so myself). It involves cocktails, so how could it be bad?

I lead the tour pretty regularly but we have about three other guides that also do a great job with it. So on the latest episode of Locals Know, I experience the New York Craft Cocktail tour from a brand new perspective thanks to Josh. Watch the video below to get a sense of the tour and watch us discover hidden bars, new speakeasies, and drink a whole lots of well-crafted cocktails.


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