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NYC Cocktail Bars


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#1 Sneakeater

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 06:34 PM

I tried to take a former NYC resident now in for a visit to Mayahuel last night.

There was a wait list, but they let her in to look for me when she unknowingly arrived before I did.

Since I'm unwilling to wait, we left once I got there and went to Pegu Club, where we'd been several times before and where you can always get in.

"I like Pegu Club much more than that other place," my companion said. "The decor there was so contrived. And the crowd was just a bunch of hipsters. Pegu is much better for grownups."

It occurs to me that that could be said about almost all the NYC Serious Cocktail Bars but Pegu.

Maybe that's one reason Pegu is so much easier to get into.

Discuss.
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#2 Wilfrid1

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 06:40 PM

Pegu is my Beloved's preference too, although I think she also prefers a lighter style of drink.
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#3 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 07:22 PM

QUOTE(Sneakeater @ May 6 2009, 02:34 PM) View Post
I tried to take a former NYC resident now in for a visit to Mayahuel last night.

There was a wait list, but they let her in to look for me when she unknowingly arrived before I did.

Since I'm unwilling to wait, we left once I got there and went to Pegu Club, where we'd been several times before and where you can always get in.

"I like Pegu Club much more than that other place," my companion said. "The decor there was so contrived. And the crowd was just a bunch of hipsters. Pegu is much better for grownups."

It occurs to me that that could be said about almost all the NYC Serious Cocktail Bars but Pegu.

Maybe that's one reason Pegu is so much easier to get into.

Discuss.

yes - I don't think its considered "cool" which is silly. Why that is - no idea. Probably because its easy to get into. A big recursive loop.

It also means that once hipsters have moved on to the next fad they'll still have a business. I mean I wish the Mayahuel guys all the luck in the world - but a tequila-centric cocktail doesn't sound like an enduring business model.

I love PDT but the telephone booth schtick is well...schtick.


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#4 Sneakeater

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 07:52 PM

My problem is that I think the drinks at D&C are a hair better than at Pegu. So while I'm always happy to go to Pegu as a second choice, I always (usually unsuccessfully) try D&C first.
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#5 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 07:55 PM

QUOTE(Sneakeater @ May 6 2009, 03:52 PM) View Post
My problem is that I think the drinks at D&C are a hair better than at Pegu. So while I'm always happy to go to Pegu as a second choice, I always (usually unsuccessfully) try D&C first.

Interesting. I generally think of the bars as pretty fungible. My girlfriend likes the schtick at PDT so we usually go there.

What do you perfer about D&C - a place I admit I have only been to once.

I am also a guy who likes drinking cocktails - but not someone who is a student of them. And I think I have pretty pedestrian tastes - if its sour and has some form of bitter in it I'll like it.

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#6 Sneakeater

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 07:57 PM

I think the drinks at D&C tend to be more complex and layered.

More of them do that "succession of different flavors wafting over your tongue as you sip" thing than at Pegu.

IMO, of course.
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#7 H. du Bois

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 11:42 PM

QUOTE(Sneakeater @ May 6 2009, 02:34 PM) View Post
It occurs to me that that could be said about almost all the NYC Serious Cocktail Bars but Pegu.

Clover Club too? It didn't leave me with that impression. Or is Clover Club not considered serious?



#8 erha2

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 02:34 PM

QUOTE(Anthony Bonner @ May 6 2009, 02:55 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Sneakeater @ May 6 2009, 03:52 PM) View Post
My problem is that I think the drinks at D&C are a hair better than at Pegu. So while I'm always happy to go to Pegu as a second choice, I always (usually unsuccessfully) try D&C first.

Interesting. I generally think of the bars as pretty fungible. My girlfriend likes the schtick at PDT so we usually go there.

What do you perfer about D&C - a place I admit I have only been to once.

I am also a guy who likes drinking cocktails - but not someone who is a student of them. And I think I have pretty pedestrian tastes - if its sour and has some form of bitter in it I'll like it.


d&c's menu also has a good 60+ cocktails on it which would take quite a while to get through. i've probably gone through more than half of the menu (mostly the stirred cocktails) and was disappointed by less than a handful of all the cocktails. obviously they can create all of the classics without a problem too.

also, to me, they have by far the best roster of bartenders. i've had pretty bad experiences at pdt (one of the current bartenders consistently makes drinks that are off) and pegu club where i've had to experience a couple of bartenders who seemed to be disinterested. have yet to have that issue at d&c.

the biggest issue, as sneakeater points out quite often, is that i can never get in unless i go by 6:30.

#9 nuxvomica

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 02:51 PM

perhaps some people need to be sold some exclusivity with their cocktails to enjoy them - the cocktails themselves are not enough.
blame Sasha Petraske for starting that.

Pegu's Audrey Saunders is a grown-up and she opened a cocktail lounge for grown-ups without playing the silly exclusivity game. Flatiron is like that too. And both are larger spaces than any of the other joints, which makes them instantly more accessible. also, they don't insist that all patrons must be seated to imbibe (a la PDT, Milk & Honey, D&C, etc.), which further allows them to serve more people. how special can that be if anyone can go and get a drink, huh? rolleyes.gif

obviously, drinks must taste better when somebody is telling you you can't get in.

plus, those places are ran by young dudes with facial hair and vests, need i say more rolleyes.gif


D&C has the best, most interesting and delicious drinks
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#10 Sneakeater

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 03:47 PM

QUOTE(H. du Bois @ May 6 2009, 11:42 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Sneakeater @ May 6 2009, 02:34 PM) View Post
It occurs to me that that could be said about almost all the NYC Serious Cocktail Bars but Pegu.

Clover Club too? It didn't leave me with that impression. Or is Clover Club not considered serious?


I was thinking even Clover Club, although less so there than at D&C, pdt, and Mayahuel.
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#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 03:51 PM

QUOTE(nuxvomica @ May 7 2009, 02:51 PM) View Post
also, they don't insist that all patrons must be seated to imbibe (a la PDT, Milk & Honey, D&C, etc.), which further allows them to serve more people.


The one thing I disagree with you on is permitting standees.

I personally won't go to a bar if I have to stand; to me, it's the same thing as getting turned away.

And I don't like to sit and drink with a crowd of standees standing around me. (It also does horrible things to the noise level.)

To me, Serious Cocktail Bars are like restaurants, and I sort of apply similar criteria for comfort to them. (Not that a Ssam Bar regular's standards of comfort are very high.)*
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* Someone will mention that Ssam Bar has standees. But those are people waiting for seats, who are pretty much segregated to certain areas of the restaurant. It's not like the whole area between the counter and the tables is filled with people, as it can be at a bar that allows standees.
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#12 Slapsie Maxie

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 04:08 PM

QUOTE(Sneakeater @ May 5 2009, 01:51 PM) View Post
QUOTE(nuxvomica @ May 7 2009, 02:51 PM) View Post
also, they don't insist that all patrons must be seated to imbibe (a la PDT, Milk & Honey, D&C, etc.), which further allows them to serve more people.


The one thing I disagree with you on is permitting standees.

I personally won't go to a bar if I have to stand; to me, it's the same thing as getting turned away.

And I don't like to sit and drink with a crowd of standees standing around me. (It also does horrible things to the noise level.)

To me, Serious Cocktail Bars are like restaurants, and I sort of apply a similar criteria for comfort to them. (Not that a Ssam Bar regular's standards of comfort are very high.)*
______________________________________________________________
* Someone will mention that Ssam Bar has standees. But those are people waiting for seats, who are pretty much segregated to certain areas of the restaurant. It's not like the whole area between the counter and the tables is filled with people, as it can be at a bar that allows standees.


Agreed. A well made cocktail is something that demands attention. It you want to stand and knock back a drink, go to a pub and have a beer. I feel the same way about loud music being a distraction in many cocktail bars.

I am lookng forward to trying a few new places when I get to town next week

Slapsie


#13 Sneakeater

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 04:25 PM

Right. Just to clarify, when I said "I won't go to a bar if I have to stand," I meant a Serious Cocktail Bar. If it's just a normal pub-type hang-out bar, of course it's different.

Can't wait to read your bar reports next week.
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#14 Daisy

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 04:42 PM

QUOTE(nuxvomica @ May 7 2009, 10:51 AM) View Post
perhaps some people need to be sold some exclusivity with their cocktails to enjoy them - the cocktails themselves are not enough.
blame Sasha Petraske for starting that.

Pegu's Audrey Saunders is a grown-up and she opened a cocktail lounge for grown-ups without playing the silly exclusivity game. Flatiron is like that too. And both are larger spaces than any of the other joints, which makes them instantly more accessible. also, they don't insist that all patrons must be seated to imbibe (a la PDT, Milk & Honey, D&C, etc.), which further allows them to serve more people. how special can that be if anyone can go and get a drink, huh? rolleyes.gif

obviously, drinks must taste better when somebody is telling you you can't get in.

plus, those places are ran by young dudes with facial hair and vests, need i say more rolleyes.gif


D&C has the best, most interesting and delicious drinks


laugh.gif

I know a bartender who fits that description to a tee. Although he recently deaccessioned most of the facial hair.


I too am a big fan of Death & Co. And I vastly prefer to sit for cocktails.
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#15 Sneakeater

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 04:50 PM

Once I was walking to White Star, and I was passed on the sidewalk by some guy with facial hair in a vest walking up Essex Street. If you can envision those blocks, you know how funny it was.

It seemed very behind-the-scenes. Sort of like seeing some guy in a pirate costume walking home from Disney World.
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