The Mulberry Project: A Hidden Gem
My friend and I planned to meet my brother at Goldbar in Little Italy but there was a bit of a SNAFU so we had to resort to Plan B in an area that I'm not too familiar with...but I am familiar with Yelp! so I consulted that.
What is there to do here besides eat pizza, pasta and pastry???
The consensus of many online reviews led me to Mulberry Project (http://projectgroupnyc.com/mulberry-project/). I walked by the door without even knowing it was the spot - it tends to be that way with speakeasies. When we got to the bouncer, he asked if we "knew anyone inside" to which I said "no". Not sure what the point was since it wasn't crowded inside, maybe a reason to refuse entry if they think you're not dressed right? Thank goodness I had my swagger on.
The bar has an "inspiration" board inside where there are different flavor profiles (cucumber, jalapeno, mango, lemon, orange, etc.). If you want to put yourself in the hands of the bartender, you pick a spirit and a flavor and you get a surprise! Make sure to be clear if there is anything you don't like so there are no bad surprises! I ended up with a yummy drink that was inspired by mango and vodka - it had hints of orange and was really well balanced.
On the cab ride back home, I saw some cool street art by Hansky (http://hanksy.com/). I saw a play on Iron Man and Aziz Ansari - loved it! New York doesn't disappoint, especially when you have an iPhone handy to capture the moment.