Ice, Ice Baby: Gleaming the City’s Best CubesNot until recently have the city’s mixologists been giving frozen water the attention it deserves. A look inside the freezer reveals everything from perfect spheres to raspberry ice to 8” spikes.
Ask a Waiter
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.
In Other Magazines
Media Somehow Can’t Stop Finding Hidden Bars
We often wake up with our collective head feeling like it might explode (speaking of which, has anyone tried this Berocca stuff? Supposed to work wonders). But today was a little worse, seeing as we stumbled across am New York’s little number on “hidden bars.” Oh, our favorite trend piece has come back to us! Unlike the Times — which absurdly tried to spin this angle back in January (just as they had in 2000 and 2004) — this roundup is so vintage in its coverage that it trots out that ol’ service-journalist pummel horse, Milk and Honey.
Alas, Gothamist receives all of this breaking info with a straight face and goes so far to allude to their own a “secret” bar: “the spacious and dimly lit [REDACTED] on Grand Street in Williamsburg that features an upstairs outdoor smoking patio, reasonably priced drinks and consistently great music on the house stereo.” (That’s their redaction, not ours, and the name is also redacted in the user comments.) Please, people! If you don’t want to spoil your “secret” hangout, why mention having one at all, right? And dancing around the name — what is this, Beetlejuice? If we utter the words “Larry Lawrence,” are we facing disaster? Guess we’ll find out.
Earlier: Times Rehashes ‘Secret Bar’ Trend, Snoozes on Goldbar News
Related: Hidden Manhattan Nightspots Recall Speakeasies [amNY]
Clandestine Bars? Please Do Tell! [Gothamist]
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.
Did Milk and Honey Change Its Number Because of a DOH Closing?We were a bit surprised to find out that the place with the rules posted in the bathroom was flaunting the rules of the Department of Health — at least, according to inspectors who shut Milk and Honey down after it racked up 83 points in a July 31 inspection (the citywide average is 13 points; inspections of Milk and Honey in previous years yielded 17 and 4 points). The most scandalous thing about the violation report isn’t the “other live animal” that was present in the bar but that the inspection report printed the place’s coveted unlisted phone number! Is this why the number was changed? And was this the city’s revenge for all those calls a 311 operator told us the help line gets asking for the digits? Either way, rest assured that from now on those ginger roots will be shaved with gloves on.
Related: Restaurant Inspection Information: Milk and Honey [NYC.gov]
And Milk & Honey’s Number Goes To…We received some outlandish responses to our promise to award Milk & Honey’s new number to one lucky imbiber. Obviously this place has moved a lot of people in addition to simply giving them the booze sweats. In the end, we narrowed the contestants down to five or six. Let’s review, shall we?
First, a couple of responses cracked us up, but we’re afraid a simple punch-line isn’t going to cut it:
I left my favorite Agent Provocateur panties under one of the booths! And without the number I may never see them again!!!
It’s very simple, I cannot endure another Wednesday night playing the Top Chef drinking game — when Padma speaks, chug until she finishes her sentence.
Milk and Honey Prompts Tales of Quiet DesperationWe’ve received a simply overwhelming amount of responses (some of them real tearjerkers — especially the photo of some guy’s girlfriend in a bikini) to our offer to give up Milk and Honey’s number to the imbiber who proves he needs it the most. What follows are some of the entrants who, though they didn’t push us over the edge, did move us, or at least piqued our interest. (It’s hard to be moved when someone tells us, “You would in fact be helping all of my dates sit thru my boring jokes and lame gossip”!)
Milk and Honey Grovelers: Step Up Your GameWe’ve received a torrent of e-mails begging us to disclose Milk and Honey’s secret new number, as we promised, but none of them have pulled at our heartstrings quite hard enough. Not surprisingly, there are a wide range of “romantic” pleas: a woman who “locked eyes with [her] future husband” there and wants to continue stalking the stranger; a woman who “has a hot date with a married man [she] cannot resist”; a married man (hopefully not the aforementioned one) who says he sings for famous people (sorry pal, you’ve just violated Sasha’s “no starfucking” rule) and wants to take his wife there; and finally a woman who pleads, “My boyfriend wants to go there and frankly, I’d eventually like him to marry me and father my children.” Frankly, until we hear whether the boyfriend wants the same, we have more sympathy for the guy who tells us he wants to be free from the clutches of his “douche-bag cousin” who always refuses to give up the number to him. Do you deserve a Moscow Mule more than these candidates? Plead your case by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org before 5 p.m. today and we might just hook you up.
Previously:How Badly Do You Want Milk and Honey’s New Number?
How Badly Do You Want Milk and Honey’s New Number?Milk and Honey reopens tonight after some aforementioned renovations and wouldn’t you know it, we’ve clocked the new digits. We’ll send them your way so long as you tell us why you want (no, need) them so very badly: Did you go on a first date with your current beau there and are itching to violate the (strictly enforced, let us tell you) one person per bathroom rule again? Simply wanting to celebrate autumn with fresh-pressed apple juice and bourbon ain’t gonna cut it: Send your most impassioned plea to email@example.com and we’ll choose a worthy imbiber in time for your next JDate.
Earlier: Delete Milk and Honey’s Number From Your Phone; Prepare for New Petraske Project
Delete Milk and Honey’s Number From Your Phone; Prepare for New PetraskeA while back we did the unspeakable by releasing Milk and Honey’s number to the masses (sort of). Yesterday a reader wrote in to let us know that the number had been disconnected. Seems the bar is closed while it turns its basement (where it makes its precious ice) into the offices of Cuff and Buttons, the catering service run by former bartenders Christy Pope and Chad Solomon. The good news: A new number is being released today (even more exciting than a new edition of Harry Potter!), and the bar should reopen sometime next week.
Milk and Honey’s Petraske Going Bi-coastalMilk and Honey owner Sasha Petraske is keeping busy as ever. His planned beer-and-wine bar didn’t go over well with Community Board 3, but he still intends to open it initially as a café. He’s also still searching for a space in Long Island City. As it turns out, Sasha’s empire may extend far beyond even Queens. Responding to a tip we received that he’s going to have an opening on the West Coast, he says, “Yes, either a quiet little wine bar in Laurel Canyon, if we can get permission, or … a very small, maybe eight-room, hotel with a lobby bar. I’d rather do the wine bar, but if we can’t get planning permission, then downtown is the only part of L.A. that gets my heart racing. It’s like Skid Row and Wall Street have collided!” He would’ve dished more, we’re sure, but he was BlackBerrying on the fly.
Neighbors Tell Milk & Honey’s Sasha Petraske, ‘Welcome to the East Village, Now Leave’
Milk and Honey Owner to Do Beer and Wine — and Queens!
Neighbors Tell Milk & Honey’s Sasha Petraske, ‘Welcome to the
Little Branch and Milk & Honey owner Sasha Petraske may have moved into his East Village bachelor pad a week ago, but last night the community board’s SLA committee said not-so-fast to his plan to turn the two floors below it (formerly Jack’s Luxury Oyster) into a wine and Belgian beer bar called the Mighty Ocelot. (That name, previously reported here, may now change since cat-loving Sasha discovered the bar next door is called Leopard Lounge). Not even Petraske’s two adorable character witnesses — his mother and the mother of his cheese guy, T.J. Segal of Artisanal and Picholine — could save him from the wrath of block association members armed with a petition signed by over 140 noise-fearing neighbors.
Do the Restrooms at Death & Co. Have a Pot to Piss In?We’re not saying that cocktail lounge Death & Co. is the new Milk and Honey (for one, they’re willing to make you a Sex on the Beach, albeit a very highfalutin one), but there are certain undeniable similarities: the curtained, unmarked entry; uniformed barkeeps deploying squeezed juices and an arsenal of bitters; jazz on the speakers. We couldn’t help but wonder, then, whether the bathrooms lived up to the notorious ones at Sasha Petraske’s joint. Camera in hand, we peeled ourselves away from our top-shelf mescal to find out.
Harold Moore of March to Take Over Grange Hall–Blue Mill SpaceA reliable industry source tells us that the long-vacant Grange Hall–Blue Mill space, which our Daniel Maurer reports was recently considered by Milk and Honey owner Sasha Petraske for his new restaurant, has been snapped up by former March chef de cuisine Harold Moore, a Montrachet veteran who has cooked under both Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The lease hasn’t been signed yet, and there is no word on when Moore, who has the backing of several partners, intends on opening it or what the food will be. But given his track record, it should be pretty good.
Sasha Petraske to Take on Fine Dining, Too
Earlier we reported the Milk and Honey owner-mixologist Sasha Petraske was going into the beer, wine, and cheese business. He’s not stopping there: Petraske is also eyeing the still-vacant Grange Hall and Blue Mill space, a venue he’s loved since he had his eighth-grade graduation party there (he grew up a couple of blocks away). Why hasn’t he snatched it up? The restaurant-world newcomer has yet to click with a chef who shares his vision of serving cocktails before and after dinner rather than simply during. “I’m trying to find some partners who’ll let me do my thing in the front of the space; someone who’s doing something of serious quality.” If anyone fits the bill, you can reach Sasha at the secret number divulged here, though it may change soon. — Daniel Maurer
Milk and Honey Owner to Do Beer and Wine — and Queens!
Zagat Fails to Number-Close Milk and Honey
Milk and Honey Owner to Do Beer and Wine — and Queens!Sasha Petraske, owner of Milk and Honey and Little Branch, not to mention one of the city’s most revered mixologists, plans on expanding his mini-empire. Shockingly — for those who aren’t aware that Petraske worked at Von before conquering the cocktail world — the new venture will be a wine-and-Belgian-beer bar; he’s calling it the Mighty Ocelot (“I really like cats,” he tells us). Petraske first applied for a beer-and-wine license at 226 Broome Street, around the corner from Milk and Honey, but the rent would’ve busted his “shoe-string budget.” So in January he’ll taking over the former Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar space in the East Village; come March, he’ll be offering cheese plates and light food. Not only this, but a project in Long Island City is also in the works. —Daniel Maurer
Back of the House
Zagat Fails to Number-Close Milk and HoneyThough we agree that table-scoring strategy is important (we winced when we recently overheard a woman pleading with a French gatekeeper, “I speak French, does that matter?”), Zagat’s recent tips of the trade aren’t exactly that useful: As the authors admit, all you really have to do to score a table these days at La Esquina is call, and their advice on clinching the perennial prize of every Moscow Mule worshipper (Milk and Honey’s secret number) doesn’t quite ring true. Per Google, the new number is nowhere on the Internet (owner Sasha scolds sites that post it, and he disconnected the old one 212-625-3897 not long ago), so don’t waste time on the recommended Web search. Next time the digits change, simply ask sister bar Little Branch for them. In the meantime, call two, one, two, eight, one, zero, seven, six, five, four. —Daniel Maurer
Kosher Eatery Opens, Spurs Challenge to Bar-B-Jews
We recently happened on Milk ‘N Honey NYC, a brand-new — not to mention clean, shiny, and completely kosher — midtown lunchery. Panini, sushi, pizza, and calzone: Is there any food you can’t find in a kosher restaurant these days? We just wrote about New York’s “Bar-B-Jew” phenomenon; now we’re wondering why none of those guys are keeping it kashruth. As far as we know, there’s no technical prohibition against smoking meat in Judaic law, and the Jewish people’s fondness for beef brisket is well established. (Last year Erica Marcus wrote a piece in Newsday on that very subject; unfortunately, it’s not available online.) Meanwhile, a reader wrote in to remind us of a Bar-B-Jew we neglected to mention — Ben Grossman, of the Smoke Joint in Brooklyn. There are so many of these fellas we can’t even keep up! The question is, which one of them is ready to take the kosher challenge?
Milk ‘N Honey NYC, 22 W. 45th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-764-4400.
Earlier: Barbecue: The New Kosher Food? [Grub Street]