It’s about this time of year that I suddenly to realize I’m spending way too much money in bars: a post-work G&T here, a brunch Bloody Mary there, a rooftop Aperol Spritz on a Sunday afternoon…the list goes on. And while summer-time drinking is delightful in every way, if one’s not careful all these artisanal cocktails can also be a fast track route to financial ruin before the season’s even half way through.
Which is why it’s awesome timing for the launch of a new book titled The 12 Bottle Bar (Workman Publishing, $14.95). Unlike your usual schmancy home cocktail guide with glossy photos and a million ingredients you’ll never end up buying (or will buy but never end up using again), this is a practical paperback manual to the bare essentials you’ll need for a kick-ass home bar. Continue reading →
Fancy bars and restaurants with all sorts of sexy food and drink (Tørst, Beloved, Nights and Weekends) are all over Greenpoint these days, but let’s face it – sometimes you just want get hammered on a budget, pay homage to the neighborhood’s longtime establishments, or just check out something different and new (or old). Greenpoint definitely has no shortage of dive bars, but where to begin?
This weekend I hung out in some of these dives (a.k.a. “old man” bars) in the neighborhood and got to know them and their clientele a little better. I scoped out the drink specials, watched Jeopardy with the regulars, and relaxed in some sweet backyards. And now I present to you, along with my little rating system, some of the neighborhood’s best kept secrets:
Irene’s Pub (623 Manhattan Ave)
Despite being so centrally located, Irene’s is somewhat of a mystery. Perhaps most Greenpointers are unfamiliar with the bar’s philosophy:”it’s happy hour all the time,” which I verified as TRUTH. Irene’s prices are actually equivalent to happy hour deals, all the time – we’re talking $2 drafts and dirt-cheap mixed drinks. I repeat: all day and night long. Continue reading →
Its official: Judging by a weekend of gleaming porcelain limbs sunning themselves in McCarren Park, our long-lost love Springtime has finally returned! Which means it’s now time to start thinking about where we can make the most of these warmer days and nights.
When I popped into Aussie newcomer Northern Territory (12 Franklin Street) on Saturday evening I was happy to learn that their rooftop bar is now fully operational. Continue reading →
Call me ignorant but, until recently, I wasn’t remotely aware that most wine production is largely un-vegan.
This changed when I paid a visit to Adelina’s (159 Greenpoint Ave.) to sample a glass from their newest wine casks and Toby, the lovely owner, told me that their new Chianti is not only produced in an organic way but it is also vegan, to which I expressed some surprise. Aren’t all wines vegan? Isn’t that the joy of grapes? Apparently not. But given the way that vegan friends of mine happily knock back any wine available, I had a hunch that they weren’t in on this fact either. Continue reading →
It may be hard to remember those sweet hot nights of summer but, when they finally roll round, al fresco drinking spots will be high in demand. The small rooftop at Night of Joy is usually my favorite, but the view of the BQE often leaves something to be desired. Berry Park’s roof has a better view and a far larger capacity, but now the team behind the popular drinking mecca is in danger of stealing their own thunder.
Last week the owners of Berry Park opened up Northern Territory (12 Franklin St) a great new bar and restaurant with a huge rooftop over-looking the East River. They are still adding the finishing touches upstairs but assure us the rooftop will be open at the beginning of April, just in time for the appearance of some warmer weather. Continue reading →
Beer, Bourbon and Rock’n'Roll! This unholy trinity forms the solid foundations of The Moonlight Mile, a spanking-new Greenpoint watering hole co-run by Garry Embry who, by no coincidence, lists them as his three absolute favorite things in life. Continue reading →
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but baby, it’s cold outside. Now that the holidays have passed us by and the rest of January looms lengthily in the distance—like a neverending hallway in a cheap hotel, carpeted with repeated patterns of discolored ivy leaves and fleur-de-lis—Father Frost appears to have finally taken an interest in his part of the year. I repeat: it’s really f’ing cold. I’m still not quite sure how to deal with it.
Happy snow day! Correction: If I was a school kid I’d be having a happy snow day. Then things would be different. I’d still be in my pajamas, burning my mouth on Poptart no. 2 while watching unusually extroverted adults talk about their weird problems on daytime television. Or I’d be buckled into a snow suit, arms capped by giant mittens smelling of wet leather, in search of something icy and steep to hurl myself down. With a red nose and frozen toes, my next mission would be to find a hot, sugary beverage. When I was a kid, we always had a box of Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa in the pantry, the variety with the freeze-dried marshmallows in it–mighty tasty as I recall. But these days I like to make hot cocoa from scratch. It’s a little less sweet (depending on your recipe of course) and, in my opinion, even more tasty than Swiss Miss. But you don’t have to be totally gourmet or sophisticated about home-made cocoa. You can doctor it up in a myriad of fun ways (e.g. mexican spices, pumpkin pie spice, peppermint, et al.), but my current fave is this: S’mores Campfire Cocoa. Nothing conjurs up fireside fun like a blazing-hot s’more, right? So put on your Woolrich socks, slide into the kitchen, and get that broiler crankin’.