Tag Archives: Cocktail

A Restaurant with a Pedigree: The Beagle

1 Jun

NYC’s East Village is rapidly becoming one of the most gourmet hoods in the entire city; the cat’s out of the bag on that one.  So it’s no surprise that the latest top dog to enter nipping at the heels of this trend is The Beagle, the E.Ville’s latest cocktail bar slash eatery (and not the other way around, Fabio).  Taking over the former Orologio space on Avenue A (btwn 10th/11th Sts), the self-described “academic” cocktail program and excellent eats may just make The Beagle a contender for the title of Best in Show.

While The Beagle’s concept favors equal billing for cocktails and food, I tend to think that the former stole the show; the cocktail list reads like a study in the classics, with modern twists.  The London Buck ($12) is adorned with a slab of candied ginger and features a dry gin, ginger, lime juice and seltzer – deliciously crafted with surprisingly delicate flavors that go down easily with the help of your metal mixologist straw.  The complete liquor offerings are a comprehensive list that my Scotch-aficionado man-friends dubbed the Who’s Who of the Scotch world.  Though, if you’re a barley and hops fan, you’ll only find 4 beers to mention – but they are thoughtful additions to the liquid imbibement line-up.

One of the more interesting menu offerings are the pairing boards ($17), which, true to their name, team a tasting of food with a modestly sized cocktail.  Of these duos, we ordered the Burrata and Gin (the former a creamy white cheese doused with pepper, much to my delight) and the Pressed Pig Head and Rum (Pig Head = not nearly as offensive to me when served in pastry square form, also, the “pickled things” were a hit).  The happiest accident was the unplanned order of Lamb Neck and Rye which had the table foodgasming – the anchovy relish was quite a remarkable condiment. The Dates served with Prosciutto weren’t bad, but were unremarkable.  My table faves were the Fresh Baby Corn ($6) skewered and topped with a lime/mayo/cilantro concoction – perfect for sharing, such a fun dish – and The Shrimp ($10) with Vermouth, Mirepoix and Crème Fraiche, very well executed.

Though The Beagle’s menu is carnivorously driven, I managed to find several delicious veggie/pesky options.  As for reviewing the meat dishes, I got by with a little help from my friends (overall consensus: Tasty, with a capital T).  So round up your dogs dawgs, and take yourselves out for a walk – over to The Beagle, of course.

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I Feel Ya, Tequila: Mayahuel

20 Apr

Peruse The Tequila Library

Tequila has been known to make clothes fall off and the likelihood of a rowdy evening increase exponentially… But maybe it’s gotten a bad rap; Tequila deserves to have someone clean up its act and reveal it for the classy drink it is. Here to restore Tequila’s good name (and potentially drag yours through the mud, after a few cocktails), is the East Village’s very own Mayahuel (6th St btwn 1st/2nd Aves).

Being a cocktail dungeon devoted solely to the advancement of Mexico’s favorite imbibement, Mayahuel is a Tequila lover’s paradise. Don’t miss it; the entryway bears no signage, but fear not, you’ll eventually notice the strange cabin-like façade and set foot into a tastefully themed cocktail den. The casual bar area downstairs pales in comparison to the luxurious couches and mosaic tiled tables in the upstairs lounge -you may have to wait a bit, but it’s worth it. Give the doorman your cell, hit up a wine bar in the vicinity and you’ll be back to swig a little bit of Mexico in no time.

The drinks (~$13-14) can be a bit intimidating (the menu should probably include a glossary), but thankfully the staff are all quite helpful when it comes to making a selection. All you have to do is say a few choice adjectives (sweet, savory, spicy) and they’ll tell you your best bet posthaste. My personal fave is the Pilot Punch (oober spicy – made with Blanco Tequila, Jalapeno, Yellow Chartreuse and Lime + a hint of cucumber and mint). Don’t get too attached to any drink though; their menu is constantly changing to bring you new and exciting flavor combos. I should also mention that they have eats ranging from shareable bites like the Palomitas (Popcorn with lime, Cojita cheese, and ancho chili – $5) to the larger Platos Fuertes ($12-21), if you’re really looking to get your south of the border grub on. I prefer to keep it simple with strictly cocktails, but you know how I do.

Next time you’re contemplating something different to spice up your evening’s drinks, think Mayahuel. With Tequila-based cocktails this good, you may find yourself doing a Pee Wee Herman-esque dance – and why shouldn’t you? After all, Mayahuel might be your next Big Adventure. Get crazy and enjoy it responsibly, folks.

Location, Location, Location: Public House

10 Feb

Calamari Party

You’ve had a long day and your friends are counting you in for cocktails – last thing you want to do? Run all over the world to get to drinks, only to have to run around some more to get home, I’d say… with that in mind, next time propose Public House, the massive Midtown East (41st btwn Lex/3rd Ave) after-work spot serving up specials on the regular. Now, before you all jump to judge me and doubt my recommendations, let me throw this out there: sometimes certain things can be compromised for an excellent location. New Yorkers know it best – if you don’t think so, why don’t you go home to your matchbox-sized apartment that you pay an arm and a leg for and take some time to think it over.

Dirty, Dirty Martini

Public House is really only built for the after work contingent. Sure, they dabble in sports bar-esque events, but mostly, their bread and butter is the happy hour crowd. So let’s talk specials: everyday from 4-7 drinks are ½ priced. Tuesdays, they host a $35 dinner which includes wine pairing. That being said, Wednesday night is my jam; $6 martinis (ask for any liquor, you got it) from 5pm-close. They make a mean dirty martini and to order, at that – if you aren’t happy with your pour (we had 1 stingy bartender – eep) they were willing to mix a bit extra to top us off.

Hola Nachos

Eats on the menu are your typical bar food, but done well. The calamari was really good and tender (yes, RR tried it; we’re dabbling in the world of pescetarianism – baby steps). The nachos with grilled chicken were well received and even garnered an “actually pretty good” from a friend/nacho aficionado. We’re not saying food is a selling point, but if you’re there, you’re there. So why don’t you get there; Public House – we’re talking steps away from Grand Central Station. Your post-work evening awaits!

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