The New-York Historical Society’s summer-long Swing Time exhibition has stirred up such excitement that even Caffè Storico, Stephen Starr’s Italian restaurant within the museum, has taken part in the hype. Caffè Storico, inspired by the exhibit, concocted a refreshing cocktail, known as the Juniper Julep. The exhibit (and the drink) are only available until September 1st, so catch it before it closes.
What an authentic martini glass looks like, at Milk and Honey Flatiron
The original Milk and Honey speakeasy on Eldridge Street in the Lower East Side ushered in the global trend with Prohibition-era style “secret” bars (many of which we rounded up in our guide to New York’s hidden bars). We recently shared a booth with owner Sasha Petraske at the new Milk and Honey location on 23rd Street in the Flatiron, picking his brain while imbibing some of the best drinks in the city.
This Saturday, March 16: Join Untapped Cities and No Longer Empty for an evening of food and entertainment celebrating the closing of “How Much Do I Owe You?”, a site-specific art installation housed in the abandoned Bank of Manhattan in Long Island City. No Longer Empty is a non-profit arts organization that sponsors public art exhibits in empty storefronts in New York City. The No Longer Empty Dinner is a chance for Untapped Readers to experience curated local cuisine and meaningful art in an extraordinary setting. Seating is limited to 30, and the dinner is almost sold out. Tickets available here.
The evening will kick off with cocktails in the Clock Tower, followed by a tour of the “How Much Do I Owe You?” exhibition. Next, guests will enjoy a five-course seated dinner by Chef Will Griffin. The night will conclude with a special performance by Korean artist Hayoon-Jay Lee.
The No Longer Empty Dinner is organized in collaboration by No Longer Empty, Untapped Cities and Local Roots NYC.
The dinner menu is inspired by the era of big banks and robber barons, whose personal chefs and those in their favored restaurants were often imported from Europe. This Saturday’s dinner will include:
Oysters, horseradish, red wine vinegar
Steak tartare, trout roe, radishes, toast
Broccoli soup, cloth-bound cheddar
Orecchiete, cuttlefish ink, egg, scallions
Goat’s milk yogurt panna cotta, Meyer lemon
The No Longer Empty Dinner will take place on Saturday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. The event is located in the Clock Tower at 29-27 41st Avenue, in Queens, NY. Tickets cost $125 and can be purchased here.
Essential to survival in New York City is finding places where you can carve out your own space to momentarily escape the ever bustling city. The bars below not only represent well executed speakeasy experiences, clandestine entrances, and purveyors of well—crafted cocktails, but places that provide great evening refuges.
Ostensibly, the purpose of my research was to seek out hidden bars and speakeasies in New York City; however this article lent itself to a more expansive result. The city I had grown familiar with through work, wandering around my neighborhood and showing visitors around, revealed a whole other side I could not have expected.
124 Old Rabbit Club
Take a page out of Alice in Wonderland and follow the rabbit down the hole into this “craft beer bar.” The yellow rabbit on the exterior of the building marks the spot and guides you into the dimly lit establishment. This bar is a great choice for the beer connoisseur as it features an extensive list of domestic and imported beers. The ’60s English rock music that plays lightly from the speakers helps to create a casual, indie, and comfortable vibe. Recommendation is to go on a week night and early since this watering hole only sits about 20 people.
124 MacDougal Street between Bleecker Street and West 3rd Street (more…)
The only thing New Yorkers enjoy more than a good secret is leaking it to the entire world as quickly as they can. Such is the case with Apotheke, a popular speakeasy on Chinatown’s Doyers Street framed by a photogenic “Chemist” sign. It’s no surprise, then, that its next venture would realize a similar fate.
Back in December, the guys from Apotheke decided to expand next door and open Pulqueria, a pseudo high end Mexican restaurant in a basement formerly known as a Vietnamese sandwich shop. ‘Sandwiched’ between Apotheke and Nom Wah Tea Parlor (see what we did there?), it has all the makings of a success. If you can believe it, I do not always eat Asian food, so I was excited by the chance to dine in a restaurant without Sriracha sauce on the table.
Now that the secret is out, the restaurant’s facade is no longer as unassuming as it once was. You’ll find a copy of the menu posted outside to point the way. Head down the stairs and make your way through the nondescript door ahead of you. A left turn will take you into the bar, a right into the dining room. Both are extremely intimate, offering perhaps the most inspired decor you’ll find in town.
Though you may come for the food, atmosphere, or just the story itself, you’ll stay for the drinks. Pulqueria is best known for Pulque ($6, pictured right) from which the restaurant derives its name (if you somehow couldn’t tell). A milky, tart drink made from the fermented sap of the agave plant, it’s one of the hardest to find in the city. It also boasts a long, storied history in Mexico, where it is believed that Mayahuel, the goddess of the maguey plant herself, first mixed the stuff. It’s certainly not for everyone, but I found it to be one of the more delicious and exciting drinks I’ve had in the city.
If you’re looking for more of a “speakeasy” vibe, explore Pulqueria’s cocktail and margarita selection. The Mexican Mule ($14) will be your summer drink of choice, featuring vodka, irresistible watermelon puree, ginger beer and lime. For a more traditional margarita, try the Mango-Cilantro, a devilish blend of chil-rubbed mango, cilantro, lime and tequila. Once you’ve pumped enough of the stuff into your bloodstream, it’ll be time to eat.
I must begin by apologizing for the quality of the above photo. The nicest part about an atmospheric, dimly lit restaurant is everything except its photogenic properties. You’ll have to trust me that these are much more beautiful in real life. Anyway, we came to Pulqueria for tacos. They offer an incredibly eclectic variety, from vegetarian to seafood to your traditional, kindergarten land mammals. They’re expensive, $11 for two, and while they’re delicious, would not be worth the price, were it not for the venue.
Start with the Pescado, packed with impeccable red snapper, tomato crema, fennel and jalapeno. As far as the food goes, it was the start of the evening, and is something I’d eat every day for lunch if my circumstances allowed it. The Chorizo Rojo, stuffed with house-made red spiced chorizo, is your best bet if you’re looking for a ton of strong, concentrated flavor. It stacks up well against the chorizo tacos found in your favorite Brooklyn taco trucks, so give it a shot.
Finally, for the wannabe storyteller, order the Verduras, which features grilled cactus, pobland peppers, mushrooms and queso chihuahua. If you’ve never had cactus before, don’t scare yourself away. They’re vaguely reminiscent of a green pepper, were you to remove the skin and cook it until it’s nice and soft.
If you spend as much time in Chinatown as I do, Pulqueria is a breath of fresh, salty, tequila-kissed air. It’s one of very few non-Asian restaurants that calls itself home in the oldest part of the neighborhood, and together with Apotheke, is holding its own very well. While the food and drinks can be expensive, the venue’s understated decor and exciting location makes a trip well worth your time.
11 Doyers Street
New York, NY 10013