Review: One Step Beyond w/Murlo, Dre Skull, The Large, Wildlife!, and Bobby Konders of Massive B Soundsystem Nov 11th, 2016

Cover image: ©AMNH/R. Mickens

Bottom Line: Traveling at the speed light and booming with Dance Hall beats, One Step Beyond kicked off the season with a twist of Reggae, featuring at all-star DJ line up from Mixpak Records.

One Step Beyond! ©AMNH/R. Mickens

One Step Beyond! ©AMNH/R. Mickens

Review: It is Big Bang as never seen before at the Hayden Planetarium. The Natural History Museum’s One Step Beyond is truly one of the best dance parties in New York City, inviting different DJs from various backgrounds to show off  great music. This time, we were treated to a plethora of amazing Reggae DJs who played decades of material, from the timeless tunes of Bob Marley, including Everything’s Gonna Be Alright, Classic Dub Records, 90s Bashment records, and modern dancehall. The Mixpak Records booth was also present, showing off their latest wares.

©AMNH/R. Mickens

©AMNH/R. Mickens

It may seem like a departure from house and hiphop spinners normally at One Step, but Reggae and Dancehall have recently enjoyed a a surge in popularity due to a bigger presence in mainstream Hip-Hop and Pop records. Each DJ was able to mix many of the classic Reggae hits with some of the new pop oriented remixes with ease, and the crowd was loving every beat.

One Step Beyond is one of New York's best dance parties. (c) AMNH/R. Mickens

One Step Beyond is one of New York’s best dance parties. (c) AMNH/R. Mickens

The DJs mixing all have a deep connection with dancehall as well as dance music, and have worked with various artists worldwide. Many of them represent the Mixpak collective. Wildlife! had an amazing set when we arrived and really got the party going. Dre Skull is the label owner of Mixpak, and has worked with dancehall artists such as Vybz Kartel and Popcaan. The Large also pounded the beats during the night followed by Murlo with awesome rhythms.

Stretch Armstrong and DJ Quik ©AMNH/R. Mickens

Stretch Armstrong and DJ Quik were also headliners last spring at One Step. ©AMNH/R. Mickens

Bobby Konders, one of  New York’s the best and legendary reggae DJ’s concluded the night with amazing classics, and even some Soca music for the Trinidadian and Bajan crowd. It was a beautiful night that the crowd won’t forget anytime soon.

For more information on upcoming dance parties, visit One Step Beyond.

Review: 2016 Harney & Sons Anniversary Party and Tasting Event

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Harney & Sons also sells several tea accessories including charming tea sets from Japan. © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Bottom Line: Six years on, Harney & Sons’ SoHo boutique still is one of the city’s best high end tea purveyors. Yet, Harney & Sons’ 2016 anniversary party was noticeably subdued compared to the frenzy last year.

Review: Reliably delicious yet affordable, for over 30 years Harney has built a worldwide reputation run by pure quality and its personal relationships with international tea producers. Store owner Michael Harney, himself, travels around the world, including a recent visit to Korakundah, India, establishing partnerships with tea estates, many of whom are certified Fair Trade or collaborators of the Rainforest Alliance.

Harney and Sons a favorite at the NYC Coffee and Tea Fest © WhereNYC

Harney and Sons was a favorite at the 2016 NYC Coffee and Tea Festival © WhereNYC

With teas from some of the best tea estates across Asia, Harney offers visitors freshly brewed cups at its tasting bar.

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Tea and smiles at the Harney Tasting Bar © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

This year, Harney showcased a green Sencha from Shizuoka, Japan, Paris Herbal – a slightly spicy herbal ribos-like flavored take on its popular Paris Blend,  Milky Oolong and its SoHo blend both using Chinese teas.

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Harney’s ideal holiday tea gift sets. © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

With Christmas approaching, Harney also sells Tates Tea gift sets and other  accessories that would put a smile on any tea lover’s face. Including decorated tea containers and packaged biscuits, Harney’s Holiday tea packages are also a surprisingly good deal for around $35 and all are beautifully packaged. Our favorites include the Earl Grey tea and Scottish shortbread and Holiday Tea gift sets. The latter really screams Christmas with a fragrant, warming black tea.

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Happy holidays from Harney & Sons © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

In the back tearoom, guests munched on madeleines and the most amazing shortbread biscuits from Lafayette Bakery while sipping Californian wine. The only thing was missing were its signature vanilla scones with Devonshire clotted cream and strawberry jam!

Harney & Sons: Deez are serious cocktails! 2015 Harney & Sons Anniversary Party generated a far greater buzz. © WhereNYC

2015 Harney & Sons Anniversary Party generated a far greater buzz.  © WhereNYC

Although customers enjoyed both the tasting bar and wines in the back, the event seemed much more scaled back than last year, which featured an inventive bourbon and tea cocktail along with hors d’œuvres and unlimited samples of Harney’s top selling lines. And while this year shoppers received free tea tin samples, there was no 10% off all loose-tea purchases.

For more information on upcoming tasting events  and promotions, please visit Harney & Sons SoHo shop.

 

Review: Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Panel and Cook Off at Jimmy’s No. 43 Nov 12-13, 2016

Cover image: Roasted cheese pumpkin with venison and foie gras terrine by Chef Stephan Bogardus. © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

The star of the show got its name by its cheese-like appearance. © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

Bottom Line: Back from the brink of extinction, the beloved, local Long Island Cheese Pumpkin is slowly starting to regain its former glory. The two-day event at Jimmy’s No. 43, which included cooks, local food lovers and brewers, kicked off the campaign to save a slice of true Americana.

Review: Versatile, seasonal, nutritious and sustainable. Pumpkins are the ultimate autumn superfood. Savory or sweet, roasted or puréed, they can do it all. At New York City’s locavore shrine Jimmy’s No. 43 in the East Village, chefs and brewers showcased their ordinary-to-extraordinary creations using the humble cheese pumpkin.

Sterling Smith's Cheese Pumpkin Harvest Salad © Katherine Hernandez, Slow Food USA

Sterling Smith’s Cheese Pumpkin Harvest Salad © Katherine Hernandez, Slow Food USA

“Go on. Have more,” Chef Sterling Smith urged. It was already my second helping, but I was greedily contemplating a third. Sterling’s Cheese Pumpkin Chili was ticking all the boxes. Aromatic and vibrant, it had the heat from ras el-hanout, a Moroccan spice mix, and lean, tender buffalo meat that seemed to melt in your mouth. With every spoonful, I could taste the spices, tender veggies and meat mixing with that delicious, creamy pumpkin taste. Sterling looked at me waiting for a response, but all I could do was grin and keep eating. It was one of the best chilli I had ever had. His second dish, the Cheese Pumpkin Harvest Salad, was also packed full of flavor. Sweet, salty, spicy and citrusy. It was a perfectly balanced symphony of different textures and flavors of pomegranate seeds, candied ginger, wheat berries, jalapeno, and apricots. I wondered why more restaurants didn’t serve salads as exciting as this.

James Richard of Blue Point Brewery © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

James Richard of Blue Point Brewery © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

I chased it down with a pint of  Blue Point Brewery’s Cheese Pumpkin Stout. Notoriously bitter, brewer Jim Richard aimed instead for a more refreshing kind of dark ale that could carry the pumpkin flavor. An organizer of beer dinners, he often chooses to pair his brews with unusual but compatible dishes, including his Hop Illusion IPA with carrot cake! His Cheese Pumpkin Stout, however, was less-over-the-top for my weary taste buds. It really went well with Sterling’s chilli and harvest salad.

Besides rustic dishes and local brews, the Long Island Cheese pumpkin has a place on the menu of high-end restaurants.  Chef Stephan Bogardus of North Fork Table & Inn tantalized our palettes with decadent canapés of cubed roasted cheese pumpkin with venison and foie gras terrine and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Stephan Bogardus © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

Stephan Bogardus © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

A native of North Fork, Long Island and bow hunter, Stephan took over the reigns at the restaurant after working in some New York’s top end kitchens including the River Café. His passion for local produce including the cheese pumpkin and relationship with the North Fork’s farmers and producers certainly showed in his dish. Rather than whizzing the pumpkin into a purée, the cubes still had a lovely bite that contrasted well with the softness of the terrine. The toasted seeds, also giving a nod to the no-waste kitchen philosophy, added a another dimension to the hors d’œuvres. The clever addition of Aleppo chili gave a zing to the whole dish but still allowed the cheese pumpkin to speak for itself.

Finally, Maya of Maya’s Jams, born and raised in Germany, started her business by building relationships with local farmers and was one of the first independent campaigners to save the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin. Her jam had a lovely creamy, pumpkin sweetness that could go on any scone with a generous dollop of clotted cream.

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Jimmy’s No. 43 specializes in craft beers and promotes local food. © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

With so many great dishes, beers and jams, it seems implausible why this pumpkin, which got its name from its round cheese-like appearance, is endangered. Interestingly, it had little to do with the pumpkin’s taste but rather mechanization. Like the fate of many flat pumpkins, according to organizer, Cheryl Frey, larger companies preferred rounder varieties because it was easier to roll them on conveyor belts. As farmers neglected to save the seeds and companies’ supplies dwindled, the cheese pumpkin began fading away. It didn’t go unnoticed by some. Local botanist and seed conservationist Ken Ettlinger, whose mother favored the Long Island Cheese for her pumpkin pie, took it upon himself to resurrect the pumpkin before it was too late. As more like-minded enthusiasts like farmer Stephanie Gaylor joined the cause, the pumpkin made a comeback.

Maya's Jams and Cocktail Syrup © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

Maya’s Jams and Cocktail Syrup © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

“In order to save the pumpkin; you have to eat it, ” explained Laura Luciano of Outeast Foodie and one the event’s organizers. This means educating chefs to use it and encouraging farmers to grow them. It boils down to generating a buzz, and eventually demand will increase.

The future of the cheese pumpkin is hopeful but still remains unclear. The campaign to save it still has work to do because of decades of gradual neglect. Thanks to technology, consumers can track the cheese pumpkin at local Green Markets using the app, but it will take local-producer supporting supermarkets like Whole Foods to really help it take off. But for that to happen, Laura said that conserving seeds and educating chefs is the best way to ensure its continued success. “It has to be more than saving a pumpkin,” she said. “You have to generate awareness and enthusiasm.”

For more information on the cheese pumpkin events, visit Out East Foodie.

Review: Laird Apple Jack Cocktail Event at the Pegu Club Nov 7, 2016

Cover image: Pegu’s master creations featuring Laird’s Apple Jack whiskey © TokyoRacer WhereNYC

Pegu Club © Tokyo Racer WhereNYC

Laird’s Apple Jack whiskey cocktails at Pegu Club © Tokyo Racer  WhereNYC

Bottom Line:  With a rich heritage and unique flavor, Laird & Companies kicked off its seasonal cocktail campaign event at the mixology mecca of Manhattan,  The Pegu Club.

Review: Discretely perched on the second floor of a building on Houston Street sits The Pegu Club. Its unassuming exterior hides one of the city’s best cocktail lounges. Far from the popular speak-easy themed bars of Manhattan, Pegu Club needs no gimmicky frills when it serves drinks this good. With its colonial-style, smart interior modeled after a British officer’s club in Rangoon, Burma, it is a sipping paradise that just spells class.

This evening, we were treated to something special. Just in time for the holidays, Pegu Club’s best bartenders showed off their interpretation of the perfect fall cocktail using Laird’s Apple Jack Whiskey. which will soon hit other New York City locations.

The cocktails offered at the Pegu Club, gave a great taste of what Laid Products have to offer.  The intense taste of the Jack Rabbit, which is a mix of Laird’s 100 Apple Brandy, Rum and Apricot Liqueur is sure to quench the taste of lovers of strong cocktails. The Copperhead however, which uses Laird’s 100 Apple Brandy and rye whiskey, is a much more soothing drink and might be better suited for those who have more sensitive palates. Then there is the Golden Delicious which takes Laird’s 7 ½ Year Apple Brandy, honey, and lemon juice to create a powerful yet sweet drink that will have you coming back for more. Laird & Company sent also the guests off with bags full of apples (including a candied apple!), a Laird’s cookbook and a bartender guide to make various Laird based cocktails.

Pegu Club © Tokyo Racer WhereNYC

Lisa Laird Dunn kicks off the cocktail mix-off © Tokyo Racer WhereNYC

Lisa Laird Dunn explained the process of making the Apple Jack Whiskey and how the Laird family has  been making spirits since the founding of America. For over two centuries, multiple US presidents, including General George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, have enjoyed the Laird families’ drinks.

For more information on cocktail events visit Laird Products or The Pegu Club 

Review: Aki Matsuri Festival at the Brooklyn Brewery Nov. 3, 2016

Cover image: Chef Yoshi Kojima © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

Nobu 57's exquisite seared tuna with black truffle and yuzu. © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Nobu 57’s exquisite seared tuna with black truffle and yuzu. © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

Bottom Line: The Gohan Society Aki Matsuri (Fall Festival) fundraiser at the Brooklyn Brewery was a rare treat to sample amazing tuna-inspired creations from some of New York’s high end chefs.

Review: With surgeon-like precision, Chef Yoshi Kojima from Tao Downtown dissected a tuna carcass to the sounds of an accompanying wadaiko drum by artist Kaoru Watanabe of Taiko Ensemble. Then using a spoon on the remaining skeleton, Chef Yoshi  meticulously scooped the ruby red meat off the tuna bones.

Traditional Tahitian dance © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Traditional Tahitian dance © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

Just a dash of soy sauce was all it needed. “Nakaochi,” he said gesturing me to try it. Next to me, stood Brooklyn Brewery master Garrett Oliver nodding in a approval after taking a generous spoonful. The textures of fatty and lean contrasted really nicely, and at the end, there was a clean finish. “It’s really fresh with a deep flavor!” Garrett said while taking another mouthful. I agreed. When it’s that fresh, you don’t need to do anything.

With Garrett Oliver of the Brooklyn Brewery © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

With Garrett Oliver © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

Organized by the Gohan Society to raise money for the prestigious US-Japan Culinary Exchange Scholarship, Aki Matsuri featured an amazing amount of culinary talent centered around tuna and Japanese gastronomy. International Export company Ocean Products Tahiti provided Ahi tuna or better known as yellowfin. Unlike its northern cousin, bluefin, the tropical yellowfin is smaller and has a lighter flavor. Several participating chefs at this event presented their interpretation of this fresh ingredient, from the simple and traditional to the more daring.

Suzuki NYC's akami no zuke, marinated tuna sushi © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Suzuki NYC’s akami no zuke, marinated tuna sushi © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

New York newcomer Suzuki NYC, which opens its doors this winter on 47th Street, served a very traditional akami zuke, lean marinated tuna nigiri style sushi and nakaochi scrapings. Similarly to Tao’s ceviche dish, there was very little artifice. The flavors were clean, refreshing, allowing the tuna to speak for itself.

Chef Nobuhiro Mori of Hasaki's tuna soba packed a punch of wasabi © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Chef Nobuhiro Mori of Hasaki’s tuna soba packed a punch of wasabi © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

Hasaki Restaurant’s Chef Nobuhiro Mori dished out a salad of marinated cubes akami zuke and micro herbs over a bed a green tea soba. The generous drizzle wasabi dressing delivered a huge belt of heat that went straight to my nostrils. Like an abusive girlfriend, I had to come back for more.

There were other bolder tuna-inspired concoctions that challenged the palette into unknown territory. If you had proposed a dish garnished with  black truffle and yuzu, I would have probably run a mile, but Nobu 57 managed to pull it off with a brilliant tuna tataki (seared) with yuzu truffle tamari sauce.

Chef Chris D'Ambrosio of Bouley's Tahitian inspired dish. © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Chef D’Ambrosio’s Tahitian inspired dish. © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

The most daring dish of the evening came from Bouley’s Chef Chris D’Ambrosio, who was inspired by his travels to Tahiti and the fresh seafood he encountered. His eclectic style dish of marinated tuna with a kaffir lime cloud, caviar and vanilla miso was a very brave attempt to tell a story. While I really liked the caviar and  kaffir lime with the tuna, the vanilla was a step too far for my personal taste. There was a bit too much going on.

Sake provider Kazuhiro Kinoshita of Wine of Japan Import holding the goods. © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Kazuhiro Kinoshita © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

In between tuna takes, Kazuhiro Kinoshita of Wine of Japan Inc. offered a welcome sake palette cleanser. My favorite was the crisp, dry Itami Onigoroshi from Hyogo. Guests also sampled Brooklyn Brewery beers on tap. The Sorachi Ace had a really quirky, sourness that could compliment any fish dish perfectly.

Chef Kono's ultimate showstopper, an exquisite chicken pâté. © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Chef Kono’s knock out dish. © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

There was, however, more than just tuna on the menu. Michelin-starred Tori Shin‘s Chef Atsushi Kono delivered the ultimate showstopper: a perfectly seasoned country pâté of free range chicken meat, liver and skin with saikyo, or white miso, pepper corns, gold leaf and micro herbs.  Beautiful as a work of art and balanced in flavor, it was an absolute joy to eat. If I weren’t so polite, I would have had at least six of them!

Atsushi Kono of Torishin with his prized chicken pâté with saikyo miso. © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Chef Atsushi Kono © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

With so much raw food about, it was great to have tonkotsu ramen by Hakata Ton Ton to warm the belly. The sounds of grateful slurping guests echoed in the corner.

Pâtissier Jennifer Lynne's ethereal Gâteau Basque with kirsch and cherries. © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

An ethereal Gâteau Basque. © Kaori Mahajan WhereNYC

For dessert, Chef Pâtissier Jennifer Lyne of Riviera Caterers, Long Island, who had worked for over six years in Daniel Boulud’s empire, served her version of the beloved Gâteau Basque, a crème pâtissier-filled moist cake. Hers was almost like an ethereally light cheesecake with a kirsch cherry and almond flavor. It was a fantastic marriage of Gâteaux Vosges and Basque.

With live entertainment and memorable dishes, Aki Matsuri was a huge success showcasing Japanese cuisine with a little French accent and Tahitian beauty .

For more information on upcoming events and the US-Japanese Culinary Exchange Scholarship, visit the Gohan Society.

Review: Raise the Macallan at the Altman Building Oct. 26, 2016

© WhereNYC

© WhereNYC

Bottom Line: Raise The Macallan began with a glass of scotch , some interactive exhibits and hors d’œuvres. The main tasting event, however, upstairs in the Altman Building ticked all the boxes. Brilliantly informative, our host Macallan National Brand Ambassador Craig Bridger gave us a master class of the secrets of Macallan.

Review: They say you should never hurry a good dram, and eying the three Macallan scotch whiskey’s seated in front of me, I had to fight the agonizing urge to start tasting. “Before you can really understand a good scotch, there are a few rules that everyone should know,” said our host, the charismatic Craig Bridger, wearing a smart, tailored suit.

  1. The older or pricier the scotch has nothing to do with the quality of taste.
  2. Finally, enjoy how you like – (but)!
Each guest sampled four Macallan whiskies: 12-year Sherry Oak, 12-year Double Cask, 1th 15-year Fine Oak and finally the Rare Cask (not pictured).

Each guest sampled four Macallan whiskies: 12-year Sherry Oak, 12-year Double Cask, 1th 15-year Fine Oak and finally the Rare Cask (not pictured). © Tokyo Racer for WhereNYC

Although much about enjoying a whiskey boils down to personal taste, some like it neat, others on the rocks. For me, a few drops of water and maybe the odd ice cube do the trick. Mr. Bridger’s personal choice was ice spheres, from Japan, which cool the whiskey without diluting it. There are, however, certain methods to maximize on flavor. Unlike wine, whisky doesn’t need to mix with oxygen, so don’t swish it about. Finally, chew while you sip it. I didn’t believe it at first, but it really released the aroma of the scotch. Another method is to rub a few drops on your palms and capture the wafting scents, but no one was going to waste a single drop this evening in the name of skincare!

Whisky and fun at Raise The Macallan

Whisky and fun at Raise The Macallan © WhereNYC

Macallan’s ambassador cut straight to his sale pitch; the secret behind Macallan’s unique aroma and carmel color was in its barrels, which is actually a complicated ritual. Casks from European oak, which is dryer than the American variety, are air dried for up to three years, before being filled with Spanish sherry and stored for a year.  Then, after emptying the sherry, the casks are shipped intact to Scotland where they are used by the master distiller. For this evening’s event, Macallan showcased four scotches choreographed to a PowerPoint: the 12-year Sherry Oak, its new Double Cask 12-year, the Fine Oak 15 year fine oak and finally the Macallan Rare Cask.

Cases of Scottish Treasure and other gimmicky displays at the Cocktail Reception © Tokyo Racer

Cases of Scottish Treasure and other gimmicky displays at the Cocktail Reception © Tokyo Racer

We began with the 12 year-old Sherry Oak, which was pleasant with notes of light honey, vanilla with a slight caramel flavor but not much else to really knock one’s socks off. Then, the double cask 12 year, my personal favorite of the evening, had a much deeper flavor with an aroma of slight woody, smokiness with vanilla, caramel notes. Interestingly, the double cask uses both European and American sherry-infused oak barrels, but at roughly $70 a bottle, I wondered whether the standard 12 year Sherry Oak was a better buy.

Next, the Fine Oak 15-year had great dried fruit and cinnamon flavors, but a bottle can retail around nearly $110. I still prefered the Double Cask and Sherry Oak in terms of flavor and bouquet, but whom am I to complain about a free high end dram?

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Macallan Rare Cask © Macallan

Finally, Mr. Bridger waved the waitresses in with a surprise tasting of the Macallan Rare Cask. Unlike most scotches, this one is designed purely on flavor rather than age. Except for the knowledge the Master Whisky Maker, the actual age of the scotch is a total secret. According to Mr. Bridger, without the constraint of age, the distillers can freely select the best barrels to create a unique flavor, but it is a rare bird indeed comprising about 1% of the casks at the Macallan Distillery. The selection process is entirely up to the Master Maker who selects from 16 kinds of casks of both American and European sherry oak that will never be used again for whisky. Retailing at about $300, you had better claim it on a corporate expense account. In terms of taste, I liked the intense vanilla, dried fruit and raisiny quality, but some of the clove and other flavors didn’t come through as well as I had hoped. Then, our waitresses returned with Lindt chocolate truffles for every guest, which went extraordinarily well with the all whiskies.

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The quirky smell challenge; one of several exhibits © Tokyo Racer for WhereNYC

Raise the Macallan, a truly wonderful experience to learn and sample some of the best scotches from this Speyside favorite, but my only question is whether the PowerPoint was necessary.  Mr. Bridger carried the audience well enough, I thought, with such passion and knowledge. The reception downstairs was also very nice, but most of the exhibits seemed more to create impact than to inform.

For upcoming tasting events, visit Raise the Macallan.

Review: Fall Cocktail Tasting at Bottle & Bine Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Cover image: Moses Laboy ‘s Normal Man Cocktail © Tokyoracer for WhereNYC

Infusing smoke into the Normal Man Cocktail © Tokyoracer for WhereNYC

Infusing smoke into the Normal Man Cocktail © Tokyoracer for WhereNYC

Bottom Line: A wonderful chill lounge with delicious dishes and spectacular cocktails that will surely have you coming back for more.

Review: Bottle & Bine is a lovely lounge located on Second Avenue, which is a great place for a fun evening getaway. On this particular evening, Bottle & Bine was promoting their new fall cocktails and new dishes. The entry to the bar introduces you to a relaxed decor, and the bar has two levels, with additional tables upstairs if you are looking for more cozy seating.

The main event however, was to showcase the new upcoming cocktails and dishes which would give off a seasonal fall vibe. The new fall cocktails were shown off showcasing 2015 New York’s best New York Bartender finalist and Cocktail and Beverage Director Moses Laboy’s creations. His theme using smoke, spice, and butter ingredients truly showed a mastery of exquisite flavors.

Laboy's Captain Everything cocktail was the drink of the night. © Tokyoracer for WhereNYC

Laboy’s Captain Everything cocktail was the drink of the night. © Tokyoracer for WhereNYC

His cocktails, such as the Captain Everything, manages to combine Mount Gay Rum, Cinnamon, and Star Anise Smoke into a delicious smooth drink. Another drink, the Normal Man, mixes in Applewood Smoke, Peychaud’s Bitters, and Elijah Craig Bourbon, which made an intense soulful cocktail.

In addition, the food that was served was delectable with Executive Chef Angie Berry showing off her dishes. With dishes such as the Braised Pork Cheek and Wagyu Steak, you get a sense of fine cooking that complements the season.

Bottle & Bine © Tokyoracer for WhereNYC

Bottle & Bine © Tokyoracer for WhereNYC

With excellent cocktails and amazing food, Bottle & Bine is definitely a great place to bring a special someone or a few friends during the colder months.

For more information on Bottle & Bine, please visit their website.