One morning at the McGolrick Park Farmer’s Market last Fall, I had the opportunity to taste a spirit I didn’t know much about. Though, coming from a half-Italian family, I was not a complete stranger to amaro. And living in a bar culture like Brooklyn’s, the spirit turns up every now and then too.
But both encounters were prohibitive. Being a kid at family parties, trying something red in color, you want it to taste a certain way (like Dr. Pepper). Amaro got quickly filed under “gross” and “adult,” which I filed under “boring.” And today, going to a fancy bar, the prospect of a sixteen dollar cocktail sometimes has me looking for the beer list, specifically “cans.”
So, running into the Greenpoint-made amaro brand St. Agrestis on that Sunday in the park cut through my personal red tape.
First off, the label is eye-catching: a simple blue print of a woman holding a branch in one hand, and a small medicine bottle in the other. Then there’s the name. How, after twelve years of Catholic school, did I not know of a St. Agrestis (it turns out St. Agrestis is not real!)? Then there’s the color. It’s a deep shade of red, not quite letting you see all the way through the bottle, but sort of half-way through.
The whole package was intriguing, as was the flavor. Which is on the right side of bitter, and the right side of sweet— it sort of approaches both, and pulls away just before either becomes too much. In any case, I felt it was cause enough to buy a bottle and to later follow up with its maker, Louis Catizone, to find out how this mysterious alcool is made. Continue reading →
Earth, air, fire and water: the vital components that make up our living world were the inspiration for a special night at National Sawdust (80 N 6th St) last Thursday, where musicians collaborated with acclaimed chef Patrick Connolly of neighboring restaurant Rider and mixologist Allen Katz (NY Distilling Company) to compose an immersive performance harmonized with food and drink. The inventive evening included avant-garde music spanning several genres (jazz, electronic, folk, world), eclectic performers, and an exceptional food and cocktail pairing set in an informal salon atmosphere.
National Sawdust is a beautifully designed black box theatre with acoustics that rival the Sydney Opera House. If you’ve been to NS more than once, you’ve likely experienced a variety of stage setups. The auditorium layout was designed to play a little Tetris, with the stage location and seating arrangement tailored to each performance and always sounding incredible no matter what the scenario. Last week’s show was no different; with tables and chairs arranged cabaret-style to face the stage and corn husks as our plates, the night had a casual vibe nestled in an intimate high-end venue. Continue reading →
The classic negroni is a classic for a reason. With equal parts gin, campari and sweet vermouth on ice with an orange peel, sipping it makes me feel like I’m zooming around the Italian coast on a Vespa in perfect 72-degree weather while shouting “ciao!” at passerbys (even if I happen to be in a dark Brooklyn bar on a cold night). The bitterness hits you first, and then you start to experience the sensual bed of sweetness, which is what fully transports you to a specific time and place. This week, June 5-11, more than a dozen local watering holes are participating in Negroni Week, in which specialty negronis are sold to benefit charities of the bar’s choosing. Here’s who’s participating in the ‘hood, and the negronis and specials they’ve got going.
I sat down at the bar at Cherry Point (664 Manhattan Avenue), trying to forget my post-election blues. I ordered a glass of wine and began to appreciate the decor and soft lighting that makes Cherry Point such a laid back, hip place. Suddenly I was seized by an urge for a cocktail. I asked the bartender Steve Walkiewicz if he had a personal favorite and a smile crossed his face and his eyes gleamed as he told me I had to try his very own creation called “A Sensitive Man.” Walkiewicz quickly went to work pouring the ingredients and then vigorously shaking them. He served it straight up, and the presentation was truly a thing of beauty—chocolate bitters on top of egg whites, looking ever so much like a barrista’s capuccino.
Though it pains me as a proud Brooklynite, the Greenpoint is a variation on the famous cocktail the Manhattan. The drink, created by Michael McIlory at NYC’s legendary Milk and Honey, gets it name because the Chartreuse that is its main ingredient creates a green hue.
So, what goes into a Greenpoint? The drink consists of two ounces of rye whiskey and a half ounce of yellow Chartreuse. Then add another half ounce of sweet vermouth. The last two ingredients are pinches of angostura bitters and orange bitters. Take all the ingredients and put them in a mixing glass with ice. Next, stir and strain it into a cocktail glass. Finally, top it off with a lemon twist garnish. Continue reading →
When conjuring images of legendary bartenders, you might be reminded of Tom Cruise doing the Hippy Hippy Shake in Cocktail. While their scene is more chic and the cocktails are more artfully crafted, the bartenders at The Regal in Williamsburg are having no less fun (and are arguably no less charming) than Tom Cruise’s character in that film.
We stopped by on a Sunday night a few weeks ago to meet and drink with Adam Lipiec, one of The Regal’s star bartenders. Adam’s a native of Poland and had bartended in Europe—in his home country, Ibiza, and London—before coming to New York. Aside from immediately noticing that Adam’s a genuinely friendly tall drink of water, you’ll spot him mixing drinks with incredible flair. He gracefully tosses a napkin and twirls it around to have it touch down delicately on the back of his hand as if it’s a butterfly landing on a flower petal. Drinks get shaken with a vigorous flourish, and shakers flip in the air and get thrown behind his back with the ease of a master juggler. Some of the cocktails require use of a blowtorch; if you’re in a fiery mood, get The Spitfire—sotol, pineapple, lime, jalapeño infused agave, for $10. Continue reading →
Every summer, someone I know calls for an impromptu celebration of a sunny Greenpoint day in the form of a picnic. Each time, I always show up with the same thing – Watermelon Soju, a boozy pureed watermelon punch that is dangerously (or gloriously) stronger than it tastes.
Watermelon Soju is no secret to anyone familiar with Koreatown’s best offerings but since many people have asked me what goes in it and how I make it, I decided to quench all your curious minds here on Greenpointers. Continue reading →
There are few pleasures in life greater than rounding off the working day with a well- earned beverage at your favorite bar. And when that beverage costs next to nothing, the pleasure is even greater, which is why happy hour is pretty much always the best time of day.
We’ve rounded up a list of practically every happy hour in Greenpoint for you to work through at your leisure. From $2.50 wine at Boulevard Tavern to ‘bottomless champagne’ at Le Gamin, we reckon we’ve got everyone covered!
Key to happiness: ☺ – Extra Happy Value ★ – Food Deals ♥ – Editor’s Picks
Achilles Heel 180 West Street (At Green St.) Weekdays 4pm-7pm – $5 drafts – $8 glass of wine – $9 cocktail (seasonal classics) – $12 for 6 oysters
★♥ Alameda 195 Franklin Street (at Green St.) Weekdays & Sundays 5pm-7pm – $5 prosecco/cortada margarita/draught beer – $7 tequila shot and 1/2 pint of beer – $11 Boquerone & tomato toast with a vermouth & club soda – $12 Burger and 1/2 pint of beer
★♥Adelina’s 159 Greenpoint Avenue (between Leonard St. and Manhattan Ave.) Weekdays 5pm-7pm – $5 craft beer pints – $8 quartinos of organic sangiovese, pinot grigio & prosecco – Glass of organic sangiovese, pinot grigio or prosecco with olive bowl: $9 – Glass of organic sangiovese, pinot grigio or prosecco with cheese plate: $17 – Craft beer pint & “The Original” pizza fritta: $15
Beloved 674 Manhattan Avenue (between Norman Ave. and Nassau Ave.) Daily 5pm-8pm – $8 house cocktails (+ daily cocktail special is $8 all night) Continue reading →
Recently it was announced that Eat (124 Meserole Avenue) would no longer be functioning as a full time restaurant but instead will be shifting its focus onto the idea of ‘a handmade lifestyle through cultivation’. Owner Jordan Colon has decided that the space, made internationally famous for its monthly silent meals, will now be mostly dedicated to pottery: selling ceramics and hosting workshops.
There will still be a Silent Meal on the first Sunday of each month (see fb for details), but if the silent treatment isn’t up your street there will be one last chance to experience a full-volume mealtime at Eat during a collaborative brunch event hosted by social dining collective ‘In the Mood For‘. 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 →