One of my favorite New York novelties is the existence of Please Don’t Tell in New York’s East Village. On St. Marks, between 1st and A, is a hog dog emporium called Crif Dogs. Looks innocent enough. But what you don’t realize, unless you know the secret, is that the phone booth that you see on the left when you walk in? It’s really a secret entrance to what’s supposed to be one of New York’s best bars, a bar called Please Don’t Tell. We’re big fans of the P.D.T. cocktail book but I’ve never actually been to Please Don’t Tell. Many a time I’ve gone into that phone booth, dialed a number, and many a time I’ve been told there’s an insanely long wait. And every time, including this most recent time, we decide not to wait. But still…
Here in 2012, cocktails are so omnipresent it’s almost impossible to imagine a restaurant meal without them. If you’re on a date, it might be tempting to have your cocktails and your dinner all at the same venue to save time and psychic energy deciding where to go. But that would be a mistake. Your date will only be enhanced by having your cocktail at a different venue: that way you double your conversation topics (the scenery, the waiter, the music, etc). So here are five cocktail joints that I highly recommend for your pre-dinner cocktails.
When in New Orleans, you should drink a Sazerac. I didn’t know this until I went with Pim to dinner at a place called Mandina’s (more on that tomorrow) and she ordered one. Pim’s Sazerac was so good–it’s made with Rye whiskey, absinthe or Herbsaint (an anise-flavor liqueur, like Pernod), and bitters–I made a mental note to order one the next night with Craig so he could experience it too.
You know how some people use Memorial Day and Labor Day to delineate time? As in: “We bought our house around Memorial Day” or “We’re spending the summer in Cape Cod and we come back around Labor Day”? I always nod and smile when people do that but truthfully, I never remember when Memorial Day or Labor Day fall. July 4th, however, is different. It’s a holiday with its date built right into the title. And, having just glanced at the calendar, I’m fairly certain this weekend is July 4th weekend and, therefore, you’re going to have a picnic and you’re going to want something to bring to it. Well I have the answer: S’more bars.
[Hey, this is Adam The Amateur Gourmet. I’m on vacation in Barcelona, Spain and while I’m gone I’ve asked some awesome people to fill in for me. Today is New York Business Owner Day! Our first post comes from my friend Dan Maccarone, a guy I met at an eater.com party, who soon started a blog with me about Food Songs called foodsongs.net (don’t type it in, it’s dead!) and invited me to compete against him in his comedy troupe’s Iron Chef cocktail making competition. He clobbered me, which is a good thing because I’d never made a cocktail in my life and now he owns a bar. Here’s the story of that bar. Take it away, Dan!]
I think I’ve wanted to own a bar my entire life. Growing up I loved visiting taverns in southern Massachusetts and always loved comparing the differences in clam chowders. In college, I loved sampling the difference in pies at various pubs in London and since moving to New York in 1998, I’ve always loved seeing unique dishes and cocktails on everything from dive bars to martini bars. There’s nothing more exciting than walking into a new place and seeing what unique perspective on the cocktail or on bar food it presents.