Lurie De La Rosa of PDT Asks That You Put Your Pants on and LeaveLurie De La Rosa knows a thing or two about cocktails: She worked at Pegu Club under Audrey Saunders (her “New York mom”) and with Jim Meehan, who asked her to help him open his debut spot PDT. “I wasn’t sure what he meant by a ‘hot dog bar,’” she tells us. Indeed PDT is unique in that it pairs Crif Dogs with Snoop Dogg, something De La Rosa says was “scary for a little bit. I came from this world of classic music and jazz.” But she has adjusted admirably and is now part of a family that includes Wylie Dufresne, David Chang, and the occasional naked patron.
John Hodgman Unlikely Star of Mixologist CalendarIn what will surely become mixology’s version of Yankees Stadium’s Monument Park, Jill DeGroff, wife of “King of Cocktails” Dale, has sketched caricatures of a dozen “cocktailians” and included them in a calendar that’s going for $17.95 (about the price of an overpriced drink!). Some of the local drink-slingers whose recipes and rosy-cheeked mugs are featured: Audrey Saunders from Pegu Club, Julie Rainer from Flatiron Lounge, and Sasha Petraske from Milk and Honey. Our favorite part, though, is the page on which a pants-less John Hodgman gives his preferred synonyms for booze.
Death & Co., Pegu Club, and Flatiron Lounge Players Engage in Musical ChairsThe bad news: The Bourgeois Pig West, easily the coolest bar on Macdougal Street, is closing after this Saturday, and the East Village location is moving. The good news: Owner Ravi DeRossi says that he and the manager at his other bar, Death & Co., decided yesterday to reopen the West Village location in about a month as a Belgian beer bar. But that’s not all! Also in about a month, the East Village location will move across the street to 111 East 7th Street (a larger space, at 1,000 square feet) and morph into what the current location’s manager describes as a, um, “female Death & Co.,” seating 50 to 60 people for chocolate and cheese fondues and a larger wine list of 100 bottles and 50 glasses.
Pegu Club Shaking More Than Just Cocktails in SohoForest Hills: The layout for Trader Joe’s coming to 90-30 Metropolitan Avenue. [Forest Hills 72]
Midtown West: Sample cuisine from more than 50 restaurants including Aquavit, Buddakan, and Eleven Madison Park at tonight’s Taste of the Nation at Roseland Ballroom; tickets are $200 and benefit the fight against childhood hunger. [Cakehead]
Soho: Pegu Club accused of shaking down its customers by pouring drinks that haven’t been ordered. [Majikthise]
South Hampton: Dune should pick up the slack where Cain left off. [Down by the Hipster]
Upper West Side: The lobby lounge of the Mandarin Oriental now has a cart offering $75 flutes of Dom Perignon, but at least the price includes dried fruit. [NYS] Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe hopes to see a bidding war over Warner LeRoy’s Tavern on the Green between top “concessionaires” including Dean Poll of the Boathouse and Danny Meyer. [NYO]
West Village: Awkward zoning prevents Camaje bistro on Macdougal Street from setting up outdoor seating, though it’s allowed for virtually all its dining neighbors. [NYP]
Absinthe Feels So Good When It Hits the U.S. Market
As any frat boy can tell you, absinthe, the spirit of choice for Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Verlaine, was banned here in 1912 following rumors that its primary ingredient, grand wormwood, contained a psychosis-inducing hallucinogen called thujone — but now a Manhasset distributor Lucid has convinced the U.S. Alcohol-Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau that the green fairy is just as safe as any other liver-pickling, brain-shrinking alcohol on the market (even if the 124-proof booze’s alcohol content is more than 50 percent greater than that of vodka, rum, and most whiskeys).
Death & Co.: The Players, the Menu, the Magic
There’s been a bit of intrigue about who’s behind the imposing wooden door of Death & Co., the two-week-old cocktail lounge and restaurant recently mentioned in the Times’ piece about not-so-secret secret bars. Though already slammed by a Friday-night crowd that has forced them to keep a waiting list, first-time owner David Kaplan and his partner Ravi DeRossi (who told us he was tripling the size of his other bar, the Bourgeois Pig) were perfectly willing to do roll call. No, the Reaper is not a partner: Head bartender Philip Ward of Pegu Club and Flatiron Lounge is joined by dapper drinksmiths Brian Miller (Pegu), Jim Kerns (Pegu and Freemans), and another chap who currently works at two high-end restaurants known for their cocktails (no truth to rumors that a Milk and Honey alumnus is involved). The startling lineup isn’t the only thing we came back with: We also scored the new drinks and dinner menus (the chef is the motorcycle-riding Frenchman Jacques Godin, former owner of B3). As for the cocktails, we’ll leave aside Kaplan’s claim that “it’s been 100 years since anyone made a cocktail worth a damn” and say merely that, from a newfangled old-fashioned that incorporates smoky mescal, agave nectar, and a flamed orange peel to a hot buttered rum made from butter that’s whipped and spiced in-house, their twists on the classics are worth a hot double damn. Daniel MaurerDeath & Co., 433 E. 6th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-388-0882