Friday, December 16, 2022

Drink Like a New Yorker

Trip date: May 2022

Checking out the cocktail scene in NYC is not for the faint of heart! So many bars... so little time! In no particular order... 🍸

I had read a few things about Patent Pending, housed in the old building where Nikola Tesla lived. It was very near our hotel and sounded cool. Their website says "Patent Pending is taking limited reservations each night, in 1-hour, 30-minute blocks. Each block is $114 per person and includes a welcome sip, three drinks, small bites prix fixe, and includes gratuity so no need to tip." After a recent amazing experience in San Diego's Young Blood I was very excited about another prix fixe experience!

Unfortunately that is nothing like what we got. We were welcomed with a fun little drink from the bartender. But then our waitress gave us the menu and told us that we would just pick our own drinks. The menu is very cool, most of the drinks have too many ingredients in them for my taste, but they are still quite inventive and tasty. The "small bites" was a plate of very basic cheese/melba toast/olives.

Bottom line; the space is very cool and the drinks are interesting. If you are in the Trinity Church area, stop by and see if they have room for you. But I wouldn't book this as a prix fixe experience. 

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Down in the Financial District we showed up in the lobby of newish Overstory right at 5:30pm when they opened. We were looking like drowned kittens as we had been caught in a crazy rain storm but the hostess was very nice and only had us wait about 10 minutes before escorting us to the elevator. The lift goes up automatically and then another hostess escorts you up a flight of stairs to the 64 floor. 

There's a wrap around terrace with amazing views of the city and surrounding. Inside, the tiny bar is very elegant with an art deco feel, the service exemplary, and the cocktails were fantastic! Complex flavors and aromas with interesting glassware and garnishes; I absolutely loved it. 

Overstory was voted #27 on the 50 Best Bars list and they definitely live up to the award. 

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There is a lot of history at Bemelmans Bar inside the Carlyle Hotel and it can be hard to get into. But we went after visiting the Met on a Saturday afternoon and had no problem getting a table. Named after Ludwig Bemelmans, the creator of the Madeleine stories, the entire bar is murals of whimsical characters living in NYC drawn by him.

You're not here for the cocktails, so stick with classics or wine. You're here to sip a drink where Rashida Jones and Bill Murray did a scene in On the Rocks. There have been many movies filmed here but that's the one I like best. The local family sitting next to us had quite a spread of appetizers which looked lovely, so maybe grab a snack too. 

It's fun and historical, there's a documentary all about the bar and the hotel, full of celebrities recounting their stays there, called Always at the Carlyle. Even walking through the lobby is fun; it's understated and feels almost secretive, plus you never know who you might run into! Great spot!

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Another new spot we visited was Chez Zou, inside the Pendry Hotel on the west side. I tried their Saffron Gibson which was served in a Jarra which is similar to a cruet. The waiter will pour your cocktail and then there is extra for you to pour yourself. The ultimate sexy sidecar. 

The atmosphere here felt tropical, but not in a tiki way. Pretty palm trees are scattered throughout and round tables with plush armchairs fill the space. It's very comfortable and slightly posh. This was one of my favorite stops; great cocktails, great space, great service.

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On our last full late afternoon/ evening we decided to do a mainly Greenwich Village cocktail crawl in order to revisit some faves and check out some new-to-me spots. 

We started at Mace, which I hadn't been to since they were in their old location; I was very happy to be back. I love the use of spices and herbs in these super unique cocktails and I'm a big fan of the co-owners Greg Bohm & Nico de Soto. The new-to-me space is very pretty and my drink was tasty and odd, in a good way, just like I remember in the past. Pro tip; Nico heads up one of my favorite bars in Paris- Danico- and the menu there has a very similar style in the way they build their cocktails, so if in Paris...

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Next up and just a short walk away was Katana Kitten. Since opening in 2018 this bar has been the darling of the cocktail world, and now I know why. It's just damn fun!! And delicious! On our crawl we had decided to do just one drink at each stop, but we just couldn't leave here before two. Seriously, it's just a super fun vibe. And sitting at #9 on the 50 Best Bar list is no fluke. The drinks read a little basic but the flavor and craftsmanship are excellent! Also there are disco balls everywhere! You can't *not* have a good time around so many glittering balls!


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Lorraine had been to Bar Pisellino and suggested it for a snack so off we went. It is an absolutely charming little corner Italian cafe, serving a small selection of aperitivos and cocktails as well as delicious paninis. We enjoyed a couple of very refreshing Daisy cocktails along side a little sandwich outside on one of the marble sidewalk tables. Great stop! Could absolutely see spending a leisurely afternoon here!


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We headed back near our hotel to the NoHo neighborhood for our last stop at the newly reopened Temple Bar . This bar was the OG back in the days before you could find a classic cocktail on every corner of the city. They opened in 1989 and closed in 2017. But now they are back and boy is it a great spot! And it's really not a huge surprise with owners Maneesh K. Goyal and David Rabin joining forces with Michael McIlroy and Sam Ross, who head up the award winning Attaboy.

It's dark and sleek and sexy. Drinks are meticulously stirred and shaken. It's exactly the kind of bar I love! Pro tip, look for the skeletal chameleon on the exterior, the only "sign" of the bar. 

And with that we were rather tipsy! So many incredible places to have a drink or three! 

All NYC photos here.

Other post from this trip:

Back to New York

Eat Like a New Yorker


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