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Experimental Cocktail Club

Dates, Drinks, LoungeLizComment

A Hidden Spot Worth Finding

I recently went on a first date with someone from OKCupid. According to the site's algorithm, we were already a strong match at 95%. We also texted back and forth. Overall, I had a positive vibe going into the date. Although I try to temper my expectations, it is exciting when you're meeting someone new and have a good gut feeling.

My initial impression was further confirmed when he suggested three awesome cocktail places to meet. I had just gone to one of the places (Analogue) and was intrigued by the quality of his other two choices. I hadn't even heard of The Skylark (a three level cocktail bar with impressive views of the city)! I decided to go with The Experimental Cocktail Club (http://www.experimentalcocktailclubny.com/). I heard many great things about this lounge and wanted to experience it first hand. Not only did he bring one good idea to the table, he brought three! I was delighted!

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I arrived about 30 minutes early. I met up with him at 7pm and we went into the bar. I was pleased as he was even cuter than his photos which were already very cute! (Side Note: Be forewarned if you come here that it is hard to find! There is no signage outside. There is a black awning and the windows have curtains covering them. Just watch the street numbers and you'll find it!)

Since we got there exactly when they opened, we cozied up at the bar so we could chat with the bartender. I knew the cocktail menu was impressive so I wanted to be able to ask questions and watch him make our drinks. I started with Dabam's Flip. It is made with Plantation Barbados 5 Rum, Sweetened Thai Ice Tea, Condensed Milk, Whole Egg, Angostura Bitter and Pernod Absinthe. I'm typically not a huge Absinthe person but the bartender assured me that it only complemented the cocktail and wasn't overbearing.

  Dabam's Flip

Dabam's Flip

I LOVED THIS! If you've ever had a Thai Ice Tea, it tasted exactly like that but better! The addition of the alcohol tempered the sweetness of the tea and condensed milk. Yum! My date ordered the Take (pronounced "Tah-Cay") Is Going Back to Japan. It is made with Shitake Mushroom Infused Great King Street Scotch, Cocoa Nibs Infused Maple Syrup, El Maestro Pedro Ximenez Sherry and Black Walnut Bitters.

  I think this is the Take is Going Back to Japan....or it may be the Handsome Jack!

I think this is the Take is Going Back to Japan....or it may be the Handsome Jack!

My date really liked his cocktail. I sampled it and it was good but not as much my cup of tea. Sometimes scotch is a bit too intense for me, especially if it is a smoky or peaty scotch. I don't have the taste appreciation for it! My date suggested that we order something to nibble on while we sip on our cocktails. He chose the cheese plate which turned out to be an awesome suggestion!

  Cheese Plate was not Blurry in Real Life

Cheese Plate was not Blurry in Real Life

The plate came with three cheeses - two were softer (cannot recall the names) and one was a harder, sharp cheddar. I don't recall how much the cheese plate was and of course there is no menu online (I doubt it was over $20). Anyway, my point is that the quantity was HUGE! It was served with an orange marmalade, honey, slices of bread and grapes. SO TASTY. I'm so glad he ordered it - smart move!

For my next cocktail, I ordered the Jean Claude Pandan - amazing name, right? It is made with Pandan Infused Plantation 3 Star Rum, Batavia Arrak, Ceylon Tea Mix, Citrus, Coconut Water and Clarified Banana Juice. The drink is CLEAR because it is clarified. It looks like water but tastes like a tropical explosion.

  Jean Claude Pandan

Jean Claude Pandan

I loved how it was served in a small bottle - it looked like I was prescribed this drink. I'm ok with that! My date ordered the Handsome Jack. It was made with Rittenhouse Rye, Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Byrrh Quinquina, Aperol, Chartreuse, Maple, Angosture and Peychaud's Bitters. He loved it! I sampled it and really like it too - I love Rye!

  Handsome Jack

Handsome Jack

In the photo you may notice the other glass. Our bartender was very generous! We asked a lot of questions about the spirits on the back bar. He gave us several small samples of rare spirits; one was Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon. Another was Ron de Jeremy. You guess it! A rum that is affiliated with the infamous porn star Ron Jeremy. The tagline (my favorite): Long Smooth Taste! I just have no words.

  Long Smooth Taste. Insert Pun Here ______.

Long Smooth Taste. Insert Pun Here ______.

I had a cocktail before I arrived at the bar, so I took a lap while my date ordered another. He asked our bartender to make whatever he felt like for him. The resulting cocktail is below!

  Bartender's Choice

Bartender's Choice

My date really liked it! I think it was reminiscent of a Manhattan. I gave it a sip and approved! Next up, our bartender continued the trend of generosity when he offered both of us a complimentary round of his favorite cocktail: the Hay-Hay. It is made with Burnt Butter & Toasted Hay Infused Drouin Calvados, Sage, Lemon and Black Salt.

  Oh, HAY-HAY!

Oh, HAY-HAY!

After our first sip, we could both see why this was a favorite of our bartender! It was a wonderfully balanced drink. Also, don't you love the glassware? The drinks we ordered were served in an array of glasses. Like my grandma always told me, it makes a difference! A red solo cup is not the same as cut crystal!

For our final round, we both asked the bartender to make whatever he wanted - we had implicit trust in him! I asked for a sweeter cocktail and my date asked for something Scotch based.

  As Delicious as it is Pretty

As Delicious as it is Pretty

I loved my drink. I don't at all remember what was in it, so I cannot provide further info. My date loved his too. CHECK OUT THAT GINGER GARNISH!

  A Liquid Work of Art

A Liquid Work of Art

The trend continued - all the drinks were winners! Halfway through the night, someone started playing live music. The vibe was wonderful here. Ample seating, beautiful bathrooms and an incredible staff. I cannot wait to come back!

Cheers,

Liz

 

Yerba Buena Perry

Latin American, Brunch, Dates, DrinksLizComment

A Yummy West Village Brunch Spot

Last week I went to Yerba Buena with Aish, a new friend of mine from school that went with me on an East Village Bar Crawl. This weekend, I returned for a first date! He chose this spot without knowing it is one of my favorites for brunch. I knew this was a good sign! Yerba Buena Perry (http://www.ybnyc.com/media/yerbabuena.html) has a sister location in the East Village. You should know that the East Village location has a very limited cocktail menu for the unlimited hour (4 choices) whereas the Perry location has 7 CHOICES! Is there even a question? Also, I've tried most of the cocktails (they are all delicious and not diluted garbage) and for $15 for an hour it is a great value!

I got the same things each time I went to Yerba Buena. I LOVE what I got last time and was craving it! I started with the Anti-Hangover Mary, made with Svedka Vodka, Tomato Juice, Tapatio Sauce and Lemon Juice.

  Anti-Hangover Mary

Anti-Hangover Mary

The Bloody Mary was great. If I have too many of them though, I get so dehydrated. So I started to think about what I wanted to get next! Our Trio of Fries came. It is fried slices of avocado, watermelon and hearts of palm. It is an incredibly unique appetizer. I got it the first time I came here and have ordered it every time since!

  Trio of Fries

Trio of Fries

The sauce of the left is a Spicy Mayo with Latin American influence. It complemented each of the fries. The ketchup-like sauce was not my favorite.

Next, I ordered the Pisco Guajava, made with Pisco Porton, Guava and Lemon Juice. SO refreshing!

  Pisco Guajava

Pisco Guajava

For my entrée, I ordered the Cachapa Benedict, made with sweet corn cakes, asadero cheese, poached eggs, Serrano ham and Yerba Buena-aji Amarillo hollandaise. DELICIOUS.

  Cachapa Benedict

Cachapa Benedict

I ordered the benedict both times and it was excellent twice! The second time I ordered it was served on a bed of crispy shoestring potatoes. Otherwise, exactly the same. Consistency can be good!

As my final cocktail choice, I got the Brazilian Bellini, made with Leblon Cachaca, Passion Fruit and Sparkling Wine. The passion fruit is bright and fresh - great!

  Brazilian Bellini

Brazilian Bellini

On my visit today, I tried the Cava Sangria, made with Grand Marnier, Lepanto Brandy, Blackberry Brandy, Peach Liqueur and Fresh Fruit. I didn't snap a picture - sorry! It was refreshing and (way too) easy to drink. I highly recommend it!

Unlike many unlimited brunch spots, the food is as good as the cocktails here. Check it out!

Liz

 

A Return to the Hill (and Bay)

Dinner, Desserts, New American, Wine, DatesLizComment

Divine Short Ribs

I first visited Hill and Bay a couple of weeks ago for drinks and planned to return for a meal. The opportunity struck when I wanted to grab dinner with a date before a movie at Kips Bay Theater. Side Note: We saw Dallas Buyer's Club and it was great.

I looked at the wine list and decided to order a glass of red wine. I can't recall which varietal I ordered - all glasses are price between $9 to $12. I knew I wanted to order the Braised Short Ribs, served with creamy polenta and crispy shallots ($23). Based on Yelp! reviews, this seemed like a safe bet and I do love cooking this dish at home!

  Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs

The meat was absolutely tender. The wine I ordered really complemented the sauce. I was so happy with what I ordered!

When I looked at the dessert menu, I knew exactly what I was going to order! I love bread pudding, so naturally I ordered the Brown Butter Chocolate Bread Pudding, made with dark chocolate and served with ice cream ($8).

  Brown Butter Chocolate Bread Pudding

Brown Butter Chocolate Bread Pudding

This is my favorite type of dessert: the juxtaposition of the hot (bread pudding) and the cold (ice cream) rocks my world. So yummy!

I'm glad I came back to this spot. Solid entrees and desserts!

Cheers,

Liz

 

Hudson Malone

Drinks, Beer, DatesLizComment

A New Cocktail Spot in Midtown East

Last week, I checked out a newly opened bar (within the last three months) and was pleasantly surprised by the overall awesome-ness of the location: Hudson Malone (http://www.hudsonmalone.com/). Previously, it was a different bar and changed ownership. The entire décor of the spot was redone. I especially loved the detail on the ceiling. I forgot to snap a photo but it is tin pressed - beautiful, ornate detail. The overall feel is intimate - you can enjoy a cozy conversation with your friend or date while perched on dark wood furniture, seated at the polished bar.

The owner, Doug Quinn, built his reputation at PJ Clarke's, a New York institution. The bar is named after his two sons - ADORABLE. He also has his "Quinn's Laws" posted. My favorite is: Mediocrity Sucks! I don't recall the name of our bartender but I do remember he introduced himself and shook my hand! When does that even happen anymore? This simple gesture demonstrated to me the commitment to customer service and creating an enjoyable atmosphere.

From the cocktail menu, I ordered the Manhattan No. 2, made with Bulleit Rye, Sweet Vermouth and Bitters. It was DELICIOUS!

  Manhattan No. 2

Manhattan No. 2

My date ordered the New York Old Fashioned, made with rye, sugar and bitters.

  New York Old Fashioned

New York Old Fashioned

As my next cocktail, I ordered the Sinatra Smash, made with Whiskey, Lemon, Mint and Sugar. Really tasty!

  Sinatra Smash

Sinatra Smash

He ordered a pint of Guinness, so I didn't take a photo. I'd love to come back here for a bite to eat. The beef in the burger is ground daily from a top NYC butcher, Pat LaFrieda.

I look forward to my return!

Liz

 

Coming up Ros(a)y

Dates, Dinner, Drinks, Happy Hour, MexicanLizComment

Guacamole is Best Served in Massive Quantities

Last week, I went out to dinner on a date at Rosa Mexicano (http://www.rosamexicano.com/newyorkcity/unionsquare/index.php?action=page&id=1976&group_id=1955&location_id=9). There are multiple locations of this popular chain and we went to the one in Union Square. I haven't been to this location and it much larger than the one in Midtown East - the ceilings are higher and the vibe seems younger in general. There is also one on the Upper West Side. Naturally, we started with the Guacamole. It is delicious! It is made tableside. There are servers at the restaurant that push the Guac Cart around and are busy NON-STOP! People cannot get enough of that green goodness.

  GUACAMOLE FOR DAYS!

GUACAMOLE FOR DAYS!

After we were happily nibbling on yummy chips and guac, I ordered Frozen Pomegranate Margarita, made with silver tequila, pomegranate and lime juices. My date ordered a Michelada, specifically the Chelita. It is made with Tecate, fresh lime and Tabasco, served over ice with a salted rim. As soon as he tried it, he commented that he hated it. I tried it and agreed. Sometimes being adventurous doesn't pay off.

  Frozen Pomegranate Margarita

Frozen Pomegranate Margarita

For my entrée, I got the Chamorro (Crispy Pork Shank). It is a slow-braised "carnitas-style" with chipotle-creamed spinach and red bean-chorizo chili. SO TASTY! It is served with teeny-tiny tortillas to make baby tacos.

  Chamorro / Crispy Pork Shank

Chamorro / Crispy Pork Shank

The meal was delicious! My date ordered the Chicken Enchiladas - I tried a little and they were good, though a bit limey. I was glad with what I ordered.

There is a Happy Hour here Sat- Thurs from 4pm - 7pm in the Bar Area. Cocktails are $6-$7, Beers are $4 and a selection of appetizers and rotating tacos are $6. I will need to check that out!

Cheers,

Liz 

 

Strike When the (Flat)Iron is Hot!

Dates, Drinks, LoungeLizComment

Delicious Cocktails in Flatiron!

The Flatiron Lounge (http://www.flatironlounge.com/index_main.html) was on my list of cocktail spots to visit during my January break. Consider this mission accomplished. Before we headed to dinner, we grabbed a drink here and I liked the general vibe of the lounge. It was a Friday night, so naturally it was a bit crowded. We were unable to get a table or sit at the bar, so we enjoyed our cocktails on a countertop near the entrance. While this was more convenient that just holding our drinks, I kept getting bumped by people walking in and out. I ordered the Veruca Salt, made with Cachaca, Lemon, Blueberry Agave, Cocchi Rosa, Elderflower and Champagne. So tasty!

  Veruca Salt

Veruca Salt

My date ordered the Maple Leaf, made with Rye Whiskey, Maple Syrup, Grapefruit and Lemon. It was served up in a coupe and well-balanced.

  Maple Leaf

Maple Leaf

This is a great spot and I'd love to go back on a non-weekend evening.

Cheers,

Liz

 

Reliable Cocktails Down the Block

Desserts, Drinks, DatesLizComment

Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar

For my third date with a certain someone, I wanted to pick somewhere romantic-ish while avoiding trying too hard. Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar (http://www.ayzanyc.com/midtown/index.html) is just the place for this type of mood.

During the colder months, Ayza has its outside seating tented with many heat lamps. While this seems like a good concept, it can get very hot outside. Even if it is the polar vortex and freezing, somehow it is Miami within the tents.

There is a FourSquare check-in for a free glass of white wine, red wine or sangria. Naturally, I took advantage of that. I'm all about a deal. After I had a glass of white wine and my date has the sangria, I ordered my favorite cocktail. The Raspberry Chocolate Martini is made with Chambord and Kahlua, served with an 80% dark chocolate truffle.

  Raspberry Chocolate Martini

Raspberry Chocolate Martini

After I finished this cocktail, which honestly could take one sip, I ordered another one. The Espresso Martini made with Stoli Vanil, Kahlua, Chilled Espresso and White Cream de Cacao. It is served with coffee beans in it which is weird. It would be better if they were chocolate covered, as I thought it was and ate one. It was unfortunate.

  Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini

This is a great date spot. Check it out and Check IN on FourSquare for your free drink!

Cheers,

Liz

The Smith...

American, Dates, Desserts, Dinner, DrinksLizComment

Where the People are Terrible and the Food is Great

After getting some drinks at Pierre Loti, we walked down the street to The Smith (http://www.thesmithnyc.com/) for our dinner reservation. I chose this place because I had heard good things about it from multiple people. Given the location, however, I was a bit worried that the place may be chockfull of the crowd that the area (Midtown) tends to attract (read: terrible people). Anyway, I was deadset on going here, so I was just going to have to block out the awful conversations held by the people sitting next to us. Topics ranged from unreturned Snapchats to Juice Cleanses.

As I mentioned in my prior post, dinner with a romantic interest is a rare event for me. This whole "online dating" situation I've found myself in doesn't tend to led itself to second dates or breaking bread with people. To say I was excited would be an understatement.

After looking at the menu, I decided to order a unique cocktail I had not seen before, the Dirty Jane. It was a reinterpretation of a dirty martini but instead of olives, it was made with pickled tomato. I tend to prefer a dirty martini made with pickle juice over olive juice, so I was looking forward to trying this - I'm glad I ordered it. It was practically an alcoholic salad.

For my main course, I got the salmon. It was served with mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, leeks, parsnips and bordelaise (a red wine sauce). It was quite yummy. The salmon was served as two smaller pieces instead of a larger piece. Which I think made it a little dry, even though I ordered it medium.

Of course we ordered dessert. Their menu is pretty tempting and when I read "S'mores Bread Pudding" I was done. It was made with a chocolate brioche bread pudding, graham cracker crumb bottom and homemade marshmallow topping with a honey anglaise. It was one of the best desserts I've had out in a restaurant. I would be happy to go here and just get drinks and dessert in the future. Cut out the crap with ordering entrees. Who really needs actual food? Desserts for life.

  Check out those PICTURE skills!

Check out those PICTURE skills!

Anyway, this is a nice place, especially for cocktails and dessert . Be forewarned, it attracts a certain type of Midtown / Murray Hill-ish crowd.

Cheers,

Liz

A Nice Wine Bar with TEENY TINY Seats

Dates, Drinks, WineLizComment

Pierre Loti, Where the Seats are Not a Loti

The excitement and panic of a second date! Where to go? What to do? To my complete shock, my date suggested that we meet for an actual meal...dinner! I cannot even remember the last time I went on a date with someone and had food. This is likely because many of the men I have met never make it to the second date, either by my or their decision. It is hard to find two people that are mutually attracted to each other.

Before we met for dinner, I suggested drinks. As the forward thinking woman that I am, I planned to make a move to pick up the tab for this portion of the date. I was successful at doing this because I am a swift ninja when it comes to paying the bill. I also wanted to demonstrate that I didn't need to be wined and dined. I like him and by paying for something, I feel it shows you're also into the other person.

Anyway, I digress. I suggested Pierre Loti's Midtown East location (http://www.pierrelotiwinebar.com/midtown/index.html). For our first date, we were going to go to the Union Square location but we ended up changing the location and time. I was clearly still determined to go here with this person. I did not realize, however, that this location has super tiny tables and small chairs. If you have some junk in the trunk (like me), the barstools can be a bit of a challenge. At least I could work on my core muscles as I attempted to balance myself.

We ordered two glasses of wine each. I cannot remember which ones I got. I recall that they were very good and red. So, there you go. My wine knowledge as defined by color. The spot gives out random Asian crackers to nibble on (think wasabi peanuts and puffed sesame sticks), yet it is described as "Turkish" on Yelp!, so who the hell knows.

Anyway, I like the selection at this place (there are three locations in NYC). I would recommend Union Square as the set-up (and seating) is better.

Cheers,

Liz

A Date that Measured Up!

Dates, Lounge, DrinksLizComment

Cocktails and Jazz at Langham Place

I have been in Arizona with my family for the past 2.5 weeks. While I have had a wonderful time relaxing at home, it has put a bit of a kink in my dating strategy. I tend to prefer to not talk to a potential date too much before I meet him. Most of the time, one person ends up saying something that is misinterpreted (texting is the devil) and then it is awkward. Especially given the amount of time I would be home, I was reluctant to really chat with a potential date. However, I had way too much idle time and naturally started talking to someone. By some sort of miracle, we didn't end up hating each other after two weeks of talking long-distance and we set up a time to meet when I got back to NYC.

We were going to meet at The Bar Downstairs at The Andaz, but there was a 30 minute wait and I was not having that. So, I asked him to meet me at Measure, the lobby lounge at Langham Place, a super swanky hotel (http://newyork.langhamplacehotels.com/restaurants/hotel-dining-measure.htm). The cocktail menu is impressive and it was hard to pick a drink to start. I went with a reliable order: a Manhattan.

  Manhattan

Manhattan

The Manhattan was made with Rittenhouse Rye, Carpano Antica and Bitters. It was delicious! It was a lovely balance. The next cocktail I ordered was much more of a liquid dessert. The Jazzy Razz, made with Vodka, Framboise, Godiva Liqueur, Espresso and Cream.

  Jazzy Razz

Jazzy Razz

The cocktails were wonderful! The lounge has a great date vibe. After we were there for an hour or so, a jazz group started playing. It was a bit loud at first, but ended up adding a nice touch. I was pleasantly surprised that (for once) my date was even better than my drinks. I'm cautiously optimistic on future dates. I will keep you posted!

 

Cheers,

Liz

Venturing above 34th Street...

Dates, Drinks, LoungeLizComment

Another Day, Another Date

I was supposed to go on a date on Saturday, but I happened to already be up on the Upper East Side. The date was planned in that neighborhood and as much as I love traveling out of my way, I figured I may be able to get two things done with one subway ride - a study in efficiency!

Luckily, my date was flexible so we kept the location (Jbird, http://jbirdny.com/) but bumped up the date. I've gone here before and really loved it.

I ordered three completely different cocktails. The first was The Colonial. It was made with Rye Whiskey, Apple Brandy, Overproof Jamaican Rum, Demerara, and Tiki Bitters. The drink is described as "potent" and that is an accurate description. I love a strong drink but this was somewhat difficult to enjoy.

The second drink I ordered was the Golden Cadillac - I got this the first time I went to JBird and loved it. It is basically an alcoholic creamsicle, made with Galliano, Crème de Cacao, Orange Juice and Heavy Cream. Delicious and far too easy to drink!

The final drink I ordered was the Sunset Park, made with Rye Whiskey, Dry Vermouth and Apricot Liqueur. I thought I would love it given the ingredients but it was awful. Just steer clear - it was difficult to drink. Ugh.

I love this spot - it has a great vibe for a date. I would mention though, that there was random club fist-pumping music playing at times that didn't really go with the vibe I expected. The person in charge of the playlist should be fired.

Cheers!
Liz

 

Aces!

Dates, DrinksLizComment

Cocktails at The Ace Hotel Lobby Bar

On Thursday, I had a first date and decided to meet at The Ace Hotel (http://www.acehotel.com/newyork). I've had good luck here in the past and I always figure that even if the date doesn't work out, I should still have a great cocktail.

Sometimes I don't take pictures of cocktails on my dates because I want to have some semblance of being cool. The first cocktail I ordered was a Bulleit Rye Manhattan. It was fabulous. Like most classy establishments, the cocktail is served with brandied cherries and not jarred Maraschino cherries. This is a game changer! I loved the cocktail. Perfect balance.

As my second cocktail, I ordered one of the seasonal features. It was a spiced apple cocktail with brandy. Delicious. I'm really glad I changed it up and didn't just get another Manhattan - even though they are incredibly tasty.

I felt the date went well but only time can tell. To be determined. Either way, I had two awesome drinks.

Cheers,

Liz

 

Pour on that Milk & Honey

Dates, Drinks, LoungeLizComment

Great Spot Hidden Near Madison Square Park

After we had one drink at The Long Room, my date suggested that we go to a classier establishment: Milk & Honey (http://www.mlkhny.com/newyork/). Once we got out of the cab, I realized I had walked by this location several times. It is right next to a McDonald's and completely non-descript. I feel that is the point - You only know if you're in the "know" - I guess now I am. I just thought it was a random door - consider me informed! Luckily, we didn't have to wait and could be seated inside immediately. You enter through a velvet cloaked entryway - swankfest.

The server came by and asked for what we would like to drink. You can get a unique cocktail based on your spirit preference and taste profile or order a standard cocktail. For my first drink, I asked for a spiked egg nog, bartender's suggested prep. It is holiday time, so why not be festive!

  Spiked Eggnog? Yes Please!

Spiked Eggnog? Yes Please!

The cocktail was lovely. Not too strong or too creamy - perfection! For my next cocktail, I got an "interpretation" (quotes very necessary) of a Manhattan. I didn't take a photo because I like to contain the crazy during a date. I can only take so many photos on a first date. I need to let out my cocktail obsession drink by drink, not all at once.

I would highly recommend Milk & Honey for a date, catching-up with a friend or just grabbing a well-crafted cocktail solo. Get after it.

 

Cheers!
Liz

 

The Long Room

Drinks, DatesLizComment

Midtown Hotel Bars Close at 12 (Just FYI)

This past Saturday, I had a first date and we were originally going to meet at Lantern's Keep at the Iroquois Hotel. For a cocktail lover such as myself, I was very impressed with his suggested. Many times picking a location can be daunting for either party. I had wanted to go to this bar for a while and walked by it daily on the way to my internship this summer. Finally! I would go...but, little did I know, this wish would not be granted.

Just as a heads up, Yelp! isn't always right. The website said that the bar was open until 1AM. Both of us were coming back to the city form Thanksgiving travel, so we planned to meet for a nightcap. I showed up at midnight to have the bartender ask for my "last call" - boo! Instead, I asked for a back-up recommendation. A girl has to be resourceful. This is how we ended up at The Long Room (http://www.thelongroomnyc.com/). It has a gastropub atmosphere with live music - maybe not the best first date location. Anyway, we both ordered a Bulleit Manhattan and made the best of it. I was pleased when he recommended our next location: Milk & Honey!

Read my next post for details!

Liz

 

Tuttles!

Dates, DrinksLizComment

Is Murray Hill Cool?

I went on what ended up to be a really great date this past Friday after my pre-date with Christine (heart her!). My brother lives near a bar I've walked by multiple times: Tuttles (http://tuttlesnyc.com/blog/). My date also lives in the area, so I suggested going there.  

A great feature of the spot is its exterior garden - it's a little too late in the season for it though. We sat at the main bar and had a great time. Sometimes it is too awkward to take photos of drinks on dates, so I didn't end up taking one. I ordered a Bulleit Rye Manhattan - if it ain't broke, right?

This is a great casual spot that is worth checking out if you're in the area, especially in the warmer months!

Have a good one,

Liz

 

 

Another Day, Another Date.

Dates, Drinks, PubLizComment

Keeping it Casual at Galway Pub

 

Although I tend to prefer fancier cocktail spots, lately I've been leaning towards more casual places to meet for a first date. I feel like it relaxes the tone and may not make me appear as high maintenance ($12-$15 cocktails could do that, so trying new strategies). 

I messaged back and forth with a new gentleman. We hit it off and planned to meet at The Ginger Man. My date arrived earlier than I did and asked for me to scope out some other spots, since the original location was super crowded. Next door, he suggested Galway Pub (http://galwaypubnyc.com/). We ended up going there and it was a great location. We met around 9pm. As the night wore on, it started to get more and more douchey (a bit too fratastic). We managed to find a quiet spot at the bar and stayed there, away from the first pumping. I ordered a Ketel One and Soda - didn't take a picture, since it wasn't that exciting. 

I'm not sure if I would go back on another date, but it met the needs (quiet enough, somewhere to sit, cheaper drinkers, low key).

Cheers,

Liz

 

You Have the Right to Remain...Happy

Beer, DatesLizComment

Drinks at the Ginger Man

I'm trying to be more spontaneous in my dating life. If you read in my previous posts, I seriously injured my foot wearing a pair of super high heels the other night out on a date. In the effort of looking hot, I was left being forced to wear a hot flesh colored (yes, I hope you are uncomfortable reading that) bandage on my foot. I look like some sort of limping mummy-footed person - it is really an awesome look for my first couple days of school as an MBA2. 

I had been chatting with a new suitor on OKC. The title of this post can hint at his occupation. I think in the initial stages of dating new people, you need to keep your options open. The first date could be great and then go downhill very quickly on the next date. It is incredibly time consuming to go on many first dates, but lately, there has been a flood of new people on my radar on OKC, so when the getting is good, get after it, right? Anyway, back to this new gentleman. We had originally discussed going out a week from now. I figured, by then, I could wear normal shoes. I HATE wearing flats/flip flops on first dates. I feel much more confident in heels. I was out with my some school friends and got a text from this gentleman, he said he would be free tonight and asked if I wanted to meet for a drink. Again, in the spirit of spontaneity, I said yes! I gave him a heads up about my foot and he didn't seem to really care, if anyone cared it was clearly me. Sometimes I need to learn to get over myself. This is proof that dating teaches you a lot about yourself.

He said he liked beer bars and I wanted to check out The Ginger Man (http://www.gingerman-ny.com/). It is fairly close to where I live, so I wouldn't have to walk (read: limp) that far to get there. The first drink(s) I ordered was a flight of Fruit Beers. 

St. Louis Framboise; Elysian Omen; 

Sea Dog Blue Paw Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale; Ithaca Apricot Wheat

This isn't a shocker, but I knew that the Framboise would be my favorite beer. This is because this style of beer essentially tastes like raspberry juice. The Omen was GROSS - way too dark of a beer for me. The Blueberry and Apricot beers were ok, but weren't that cold. I think most people can agree with me that a cold beer is much better.

Read Glass Above

Next, I ordered a Hoegaarden. This is typically a safe bet, light and with a hint of citrus.

St. Louis Framboise

My final selection was my "go to" beer. I was very happy with this selection. Solid choice. This is a great spot to check out for beers. The setting is also good for a date - it isn't too "fratty" or loud for Midtown. It is respectable.

Until next time,

Liz

 

Pretty (J)bird

Dates, Drinks, Lounge, New AmericanLizComment

Trekking to the UES for Cocktails

I terribly underestimated the discomfort that would result by walking from the subway stop at 63rd/Lexington to 75th and 1st Avenue. In order to look hot for my date with a very tall suitor, I wore my highest heels. I haven't worn these particular shoes in a hot minute. They are hulking platforms, probably 4''+. I won't lie, they aren't comfortable for even short periods of time, let alone an estimated 19 minute walk from subway to destination (thanks HopStop). Did I have flip flops in my purse? Of course. Did I put them on? No. I didn't want to "give up" before the date even started (giving up = putting on flip flops). In hindsight, this was silly. I told myself I could break in my heels by walking! If anything was broken in after, it was my feet. I had no idea the UES was incredibly hilly. I realize these "hills" are merely slight changes in the slope of the sidewalk to people in flat shoes, but I felt like a newborn colt, trying to find my footing after crossing the street. (Note: the time provided to cross a wide street is not enough in said heels). 

Anyhoo, I will stop mumbling about my shoe situation. I finally found an opportunity to visit Jbird (http://jbirdny.com/). This cocktail spot has been on my radar for awhile, but for one reason or another, I just haven't gone! Well, it was fantastic, the perfect spot for a great first date. I started with a cocktail that was as beautiful as it was delicious: Jbird Swizzle. It is made with Jasmine Flower Rum, Don's Spices, Lime, Pineapple, Blueberry Syrup, Orgeat and Bitters. This cocktail fell under the menu's "Tart & Refreshing" category.

Jbird Swizzle

Next, I wanted to order a more dessert-like cocktail. I stayed within the "Tart & Refreshing" family and ordered the Golden Cadillac, a luscious blend of Galliano, Creme de Cacao, Orange Juice and Heavy Cream (YUM). This tasted like an Orange Julius with a hint of chocolate - is is described on the menu as "Dessert in a glass" - I agree!

Golden Cadillac

Following this heavier cocktail, I wanted to switch it up. I had read about the Honey-Nut Old-Fashioned on several Yelp! reviews so I had to check it out. It is made with Roasted Peanut Bourbon, Honey Syrup and Aromatic Bitters. This cocktail fell under the "Stirred & Boozy" family of drinks. Hot damn! I agree. The drink was lovely but STRONG. At this point, it was my least favorite, but the bar was very high! My first two cocktails were incredible.

Honey-Nut Old-Fashioned

On our third round, my date ordered the Moscow Mutt, a spin on the classic Moscow Mule. It was made with Vodka, Lime Juice, Blueberry Syrup and Ginger. It was presented with such style, I had to snap a photo. Luckily, my date seemed ok with all my picture taking and wasn't annoyed. I love cocktails and sharing them with you all and pictures really help!

Moscow Mutt

My final drink had to cleanse my palate of the incredibly strong cocktail I just ordered. I wanted something a bit sweeter. I ordered the Good Humor Fizz (again under the Tart & Refreshing family of drinks). It was a complicated drink! It is made with Blanco Tequila, Campari, Passionfruit, Lime, Vanilla-Infused Agave, Egg White and Cream Soda. It reminded me of a Creamsicle (as the menu suggests). 

Good Humor Fizz

It makes sense that my last photo may have been a bit blurry - after four drinks, my iPhone started to get a buzz! I highly suggest visiting Jbird, but, for my sake, consider your footwear ladies if you're taking the F Train like I did. 

Cheers!

Liz

 

Blind (Date) Tiger Ale House

Beer, Dates, Happy Hour, PubLizComment

Beers in the West Village

 

It is wonderful to write a post about a fabulous new drinking spot as well as meeting someone incredibly fascinating. I haven't had the best run of dates lately, but I was pleasantly surprised last night. The gentleman in question is a bit of a beer buff, so I suggested The Blind Tiger Ale House (http://www.blindtigeralehouse.com/) in the West Village. My Strategy professor at Stern is a huge fan of the spot, so I figured it was a safe bet. I suggested going during the Happy Hour (every week day from 11:30 - 8:00 pm, $1 off draught beers, cask ale, wine, prosecco or mead). We met at 7pm and the place was incredibly busy - a popular spot! We managed to find a quieter table in the corner and ordered the Brooklyner Weisse. It was lovely and we had several - yum!

Check it out - definitely during Happy Hour. It will please even the most discerning beer connoisseur. 

Cheers!
Liz

 

Sipping on a Berry Bier in Brooklyn

Beer, Biergarten, DatesLizComment

Radegast Hall and Biergarten

The weather was absolutely fantastic yesterday - perfect date weather. After speaking with someone on OKCupid, we decided to meet up for a daytime beverage at Radegast (http://www.radegasthall.com/), a lovely biergarten in Willamsburg. I failed to snap a picture of my first drink, a lovely Aspall Dry Cider. It tasted incredibly similar to Martinelli's sparkling apple cider but a bit less bubbly. It should be assumed, given this description, that I drank this beverage rather quickly. Next, I ordered my favorite beer. It isn't really fair to call it a beer, it is more like alcoholic raspberry goodness. 

Good ol' Lindemans Framboise Lambic always delivers. It was served in a fancy glass, a bit different than I've had before, but I loved it! During the date, we didn't eat any food, but I will add that the sausages, saurerkraut, fries and pretzels are phenomenal. Because I was on a date though, for the sake of all involved, I was a lady and just drank my fancy berry bier with my pinky out.

Cheers,

Liz