There are plans, gas service pending, to fire up the stoves and start offering daily specials, like red beans and rice and oysters Rockefeller. But Frizell says he won’t turn the joint into a full-fledged restaurant. For him, the café-bar-what-have-you model serves the neighborhood, and its quotidian appetites, quite nicely.
In other cocktail news, East Village night owls have a great new place for an excellent tipple and a surprisingly mellow scene between the hours of midnight and 2 a.m., Sunday through Thursday. Well, make that a great old place. Late Night at Momofuku Ssäm Bar is but the latest in a long line of experimental service periods at David Chang’s perpetually mutating, onetime Asian-burrito joint. Although the cocktail program was introduced some months backs with minimal fanfare, someone must have realized that a full liquor license and the prodigious skills of resident mixologist Don Lee were terrible things to waste. Here’s what’s new: At midnight, after dinner service has ended, the restaurant morphs into a yet-to-be-discovered speakeasy of sorts, with a lengthy cocktail menu and a tiny food one. You don’t have to eat there to drink there (though you can, if you’re hankering for pork buns, pickles, or chile-pepper-and-fish-sauce-slicked peanuts). The previously brown-liquor-based drink list has expanded to 34 eclectic concoctions, both classic and modern, including our current fixation: a dose of Penicillin (scotch, lemon, ginger, and honey), attributed to Milk and Honey bartender Sam Ross, with a double order of pork buns.