Oh New York: this is a view that I'd love to see everyday. This installment of our trip to New York will talk about the best places we went to enjoy "adult" beverages.
View from Williamsburg Park, Brooklyn
There is a popular trend happening in New York City right now - the exclusive craft cocktail. These places are small, typically with hidden entrances (very prohibition-like), and expensive drinks made with top-shelf liquor. Reservations are either very hard to get (like calling right on the dot at 3 p.m. the day of and just hoping you don't get a busy signal) or done on a first come, first serve basis where it's typical for the wait time to exceed 2.5 hours.
Our original plan was to PDT (Please Don't Tell), but after an hour of frantic redialing on 3 separate cell phones, we realized that it wasn't meant to be. Luckily, I had just heard about Milk & Honey on Aisha Tyler's Girl on Guy Podcast. Her episode with Milk & Honey bartender, Sam Ross, made me really, really want to experience one of these cocktail houses.
Double luckily for us, Milk & Honey takes reservations over the Internet. We had to start drinking early (the only reservation available was 6 p.m.) But, that was okay with us ;)
There's no menu at Milk & Honey. Instead, you tell your server what kind of drinks you like, such as "crisp and fruity" or "spicy and tequlia-based" and the bartender makes you a cocktail based on those preferences. We had two rounds, and I don't recall the names of any of them (hence the lack of photo captions), but I think all three of us were more than satisfied. Also, my apologies for the quality of the photographs. NYC really likes dark mood lighting, so I had to use my iPhone's flash.
A couple of tips if you want to drink at Milk & Honey: It is very popular with famous folks. If you see them there, leave them alone. (The Milk & Honey House Rules are far more explicit). Also, custom cocktails are $16/drink and this is a cash-only establishment.
Milk & Honey
30 East 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
My handy Frommer's Guide told me that the Bourgeois Pig was one of the best places to go to enjoy a beverage some casual eats in the Lower East Side. A colleague of my NYC-based friend Kareem confirmed this fact, and we were on our way. (Again, apologies for the photos)
Chocolate Fondue and Accouterments
No reseravtions allowed at the Pig, so we put our name on the waitlist and were quoted a 1 hour wait time. What's interesting about Bourgeois Pig is that they will call you when your name comes up and you have 10 minutes to get back to the restaurant. If you don't make it, they give your table away. So, you really can't go far. About 40 minutes after we were listed, we received a call and were rewarded with a cramped table facing a window.
Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart
We split a pitcher of sangria (a little tart, but still tasty and refreshing) and a couple of small plates. It was hard to be on NYC time, eating at 10 or 11 p.m. And this was technically our second meal (having eaten dinner a couple of hours earlier at Perbacco), but somehow, we were able to find room for yet more food and drink.
The Bourgeois Pig is an outstanding place for a ladies night out, which suited our purposes just fine. It's loud, raucous and a great place for people watching. Because we were facing the window (and I mean facing. Our waiter had to go outside to take our orders and bring our food) we got to gaze out on the craziness of the Lower East Side, instead of the foolishness happening behind us. I could see it being a fun bachelor/bachelorette party spot for sure.
The Bourgeois Pig
111 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10009
Depending on how you look at it, I've saved the best for last. Part 3 of our New York City adventure covers our 9+ course, 4.5 hour experience at the famed, 3-Star Michelin Per Se. Get ready for more delicious food from the Big Apple (and more bad photography)