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Experimental Cocktail Club


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#31 Jesikka

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:27 PM

ECC had an abysmal reception when it opened in London

The reality is that this "We decide if you come in" schtick may play in cities with no great cocktail culture, but wont play in NYC, London or anywhere else where there are lots of alternative venues to get a drink without having to encounter a bunch of complete knob heads at the door.

I am not sure about the NYC location, but I know there are at least a dozen places near the London branch where I would prefer to go and drink. They will change their policy soon or be gone in a year.

Slapsie


I think that flies in the face of the existence of the entire meatpacking district. Why are we assuming that this place is meant to cater to people who are interested in a great cocktail? I am 100% certain that in all of its incarnations, especially in London, this bar was intended to provide cocktails to what we can impolitely term "Eurotrash." Sohohouse hasn't ceased to exist yet...

The whole thing is driven by how "French" it is.

PS The cocktails are decent, but definitely nothing special.

#32 Nathan

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:47 PM


ECC had an abysmal reception when it opened in London

The reality is that this "We decide if you come in" schtick may play in cities with no great cocktail culture, but wont play in NYC, London or anywhere else where there are lots of alternative venues to get a drink without having to encounter a bunch of complete knob heads at the door.

I am not sure about the NYC location, but I know there are at least a dozen places near the London branch where I would prefer to go and drink. They will change their policy soon or be gone in a year.

Slapsie


I think that flies in the face of the existence of the entire meatpacking district. Why are we assuming that this place is meant to cater to people who are interested in a great cocktail? I am 100% certain that in all of its incarnations, especially in London, this bar was intended to provide cocktails to what we can impolitely term "Eurotrash." Sohohouse hasn't ceased to exist yet...

The whole thing is driven by how "French" it is.

PS The cocktails are decent, but definitely nothing special.


ah, but we already have EO :)
Blatantly Obvious Disclaimer:

My opinions are obviously my personal opinions. Not yours. Not universal.


#33 oakapple

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:03 PM

There is certainly plenty of evidence that places with a difficult door can flourish in this town. Whether this operator can pull it off is a whole other question.
Marc Shepherd
Editor, New York Journal

#34 Adrian

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:51 PM


ECC had an abysmal reception when it opened in London

The reality is that this "We decide if you come in" schtick may play in cities with no great cocktail culture, but wont play in NYC, London or anywhere else where there are lots of alternative venues to get a drink without having to encounter a bunch of complete knob heads at the door.

I am not sure about the NYC location, but I know there are at least a dozen places near the London branch where I would prefer to go and drink. They will change their policy soon or be gone in a year.

Slapsie


I think that flies in the face of the existence of the entire meatpacking district. Why are we assuming that this place is meant to cater to people who are interested in a great cocktail? I am 100% certain that in all of its incarnations, especially in London, this bar was intended to provide cocktails to what we can impolitely term "Eurotrash." Sohohouse hasn't ceased to exist yet...

The whole thing is driven by how "French" it is.

PS The cocktails are decent, but definitely nothing special.


Yeah, it is Chrystie St after all. I'm not on top of it, but I can't imagine the euro-shift stopped when I moved away from the neighbourhood.

Also, it's funny to note that the M&H "innovations" were more a matter of necessity than foresight, they just happened to take off. Now, you've got silly bars in a number of cities (Toronto, DC, Boston) have replicated these annoyances (ten years later!) making them among the most irritating tics in nightlife.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#35 Orik

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:35 PM

This reminds me that when we went to Curio Parlor (or to be more accurate, when we walked by after dinner and figured it'll be a good place to hide from the freezing rain), we just walked past the surprised Parisian bouncer (big but slow), ordered a drink at the bar, and took a seat on one of the couches. A very confused waitress appeared some time later and couldn't figure out how it came to be that we have cocktails. Iirc, the drinks were okay, better than European standards, but not up to current nyc top level. I wish them well.

eta:

There we go:

http://mouthfulsfood...ost__p__1123656
I never said that

#36 joethefoodie

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:40 AM

I think that flies in the face of the existence of the entire meatpacking district. Why are we assuming that this place is meant to cater to people who are interested in a great cocktail? I am 100% certain that in all of its incarnations, especially in London, this bar was intended to provide cocktails to what we can impolitely term "Eurotrash." Sohohouse hasn't ceased to exist yet...

The whole thing is driven by how "French" it is.

PS The cocktails are decent, but definitely nothing special.

I don't know that one can consider Eurotrash Eurotrash when the Eurotrash frequenting a bar in Paris are mostly Parisians.

Of course, as Americans checking out a bar in Paris, I guess we're Ameritrash.

When you say the cocktails are decent, but nothing special, can you tell us what you had and why it wasn't anything "special?"

#37 Chambolle

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:19 PM

the drinks were okay, better than European standards, but not up to current nyc top level.

Agreed.

My Paris ECC experiences are that I arrive and walk in (and 1/2 the time there would be some gatekeeper dude sitting on a stool out front). I always call in advance to make sure that they are open cuz I'm not usually in that vicinity and don't want to find a locked door upon arrival. If they don't answer their phone, I don't venture there. But I never make a reservation nor am I aware that they even take reservations. Then again, I never even thought to ask. I like the vibe of the place good enough and I have never been there when it's packed. I have never been on weekends.

Very frequently, late at night, I would be walking by Curio Parlor because it was in my general hood. For research purposes, I would walk in and see what the crowd and music were like. Invariably, I would do a 180 and leave. Chambo dislikes.

#38 Wilfrid

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:48 PM

I think Paris doesn't have the email reservation system. London does.

#39 Jesikka

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:17 PM


I think that flies in the face of the existence of the entire meatpacking district. Why are we assuming that this place is meant to cater to people who are interested in a great cocktail? I am 100% certain that in all of its incarnations, especially in London, this bar was intended to provide cocktails to what we can impolitely term "Eurotrash." Sohohouse hasn't ceased to exist yet...

The whole thing is driven by how "French" it is.

PS The cocktails are decent, but definitely nothing special.

I don't know that one can consider Eurotrash Eurotrash when the Eurotrash frequenting a bar in Paris are mostly Parisians.

Of course, as Americans checking out a bar in Paris, I guess we're Ameritrash.

When you say the cocktails are decent, but nothing special, can you tell us what you had and why it wasn't anything "special?"


Well, I was speaking about the EEC here, which I think is meant to appeal to Europeans living in NY. A "Keith McNally" crowd as it were.

I let them choose for me and I had a French 75 (a good one, but not a very creative cocktail) and I tried the Curious Prescription that was described in the NYT article. The Curious Prescription was a little sweet for my taste. They are definitely making a lot of syrups and such, but I'm not sure that anything whatsoever makes these cocktails more complex than any cocktail bar in town. I'd say it is more pdt than Death & Co.

#40 Jesikka

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:18 PM



I think that flies in the face of the existence of the entire meatpacking district. Why are we assuming that this place is meant to cater to people who are interested in a great cocktail? I am 100% certain that in all of its incarnations, especially in London, this bar was intended to provide cocktails to what we can impolitely term "Eurotrash." Sohohouse hasn't ceased to exist yet...

The whole thing is driven by how "French" it is.

PS The cocktails are decent, but definitely nothing special.

I don't know that one can consider Eurotrash Eurotrash when the Eurotrash frequenting a bar in Paris are mostly Parisians.

Of course, as Americans checking out a bar in Paris, I guess we're Ameritrash.

When you say the cocktails are decent, but nothing special, can you tell us what you had and why it wasn't anything "special?"


Well, I was speaking about the EEC here, which I think is meant to appeal to Europeans living in NY. A "Keith McNally" crowd as it were.

I let them choose for me and I had a French 75 (a good one, but not a very creative cocktail) and I tried the Curious Prescription that was described in the NYT article. The Curious Prescription was a little sweet for my taste. They are definitely making a lot of syrups and such, but I'm not sure that anything whatsoever makes these cocktails more complex than any cocktail bar in town. I'd say it is more pdt than Death & Co.


Fwiw, I have not used the email system nor does it seem to be the only way to get in.

#41 Wilfrid

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:26 PM

Are you saying you can just walk in, or are you using...different methods?

#42 Jesikka

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:37 PM

Are you saying you can just walk in, or are you using...different methods?


I'm saying that I just walked in, but I cannot say whether this was due to any special characteristics of either myself or my friend that I was with. I assume that men may be less able to do so. We met the owner who pretty much gave us carte blanche, so that's convenient...

#43 nuxvomica

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:44 PM

I let them choose for me and I had a French 75 (a good one, but not a very creative cocktail) and I tried the Curious Prescription that was described in the NYT article. The Curious Prescription was a little sweet for my taste. They are definitely making a lot of syrups and such, but I'm not sure that anything whatsoever makes these cocktails more complex than any cocktail bar in town. I'd say it is more pdt than Death & Co.

disappointed to hear about the Curious Prescription but not that surprised. a French bartender in Lyon once told us, while making yet another Zombie, that "French people think Cosmopolitan is a dry drink" so i guess i should expect drinks there to be on the sweet side.

having recently revisited Death & Co (which in a complete turnabout now has super-nice door and an all-girl bar crew) and PDT (more girl bartenders!), i just don't see why i'd go through the rigmarole. also, Death & PDT are within walking distance (not to mention Mayahuel et al.), which makes it very convenient for various (crawling and otherwise) purposes.

not surprised to hear what Slapsie had to say. with so much cocktail talent in London, why play silly email games (unless maybe if a place is in some remote, pain-in-the-ass location).
“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.

#44 nuxvomica

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:30 PM

nothing like lowered expectations. despite the opening pretense, live music (or banging on the piano, as the less charitable of us referred to it) and some misdirection from the staff (they sent us to a room with a private party), we ended up having a really good experience. (the door guy was very nice too.) it helped that we had a terrific bartender* and the banging stopped relatively quickly, replaced by a decent and moderately loud DJ.

the cocktails surprised us with their complexity and uniqueness. most have 5 or more ingredients and the ones we tried were beautifully balanced, some unusual flavors. also liked the play in some of them - gotta love a bartender who upon hearing i'd like something with sherry will offer a drink with no sherry in it but that totally tastes like sherry.

the drinks are by Nicolas de Soto, whom some of you may remember from Dram in Williamsburg when it first opened. He created most of the cocktails at ECC here, the ones we had were layered, complex, very grown up. great glassware too.

*not only was he enthusiastic about the cocktails and knew them well but very attentive and fast, very in tune with guest needs, too. and didn't sigh or roll his eyes (as i've seen bartenders do) when a bunch of guys just wanted jacks & cokes
“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.

#45 joethefoodie

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:40 AM

*not only was he enthusiastic about the cocktails and knew them well but very attentive and fast, very in tune with guest needs, too. and didn't sigh or roll his eyes (as i've seen bartenders do) when a bunch of guys just wanted jacks & cokes

No - instead he just went (inside his head) KaChing Posted Image !

Nicolas is an excellent barman, as are any number of the other bartenders at ECC.