Since this is a big weekend for holiday parties, we thought you could use some new drink ideas. Why serve your guests the same old Syrah when you could make them a Mae West Royal Diamond Fizz or whip up some spiced butter to go with that hot rum or mulled cider? We sent a camera to LeNell’s, Flatiron Lounge, and Death & Co. to learn winter secrets from some of the city’s booze experts. They even shared the recipes with us. So watch, prepare, drink, and repeat.
Chelsea: Trestle on Tenth launches weekend brunch this Saturday with a fall menu that includes bacon-and-onion rösti and banana-stuffed French toast with vanilla syrup.
Fort Greene: IHOP is making more New York moves: In addition to taking on Times Square, the chain will open an outlet on Livingston Street near Bond Street. [NYDN]
Midtown East: Bloomingdale's has moved tangy fro-yo pioneer Forty Carrots from the basement to a larger, more befitting seventh floor space. [NYT] Sherry-Lehmann wine store has completed its relocation to Park Avenue at 59th Street. [NYT]
Red Hook: You may have missed LeNell’s absinthe tasting (she drinks it up by the way), but she’ll host a tequila tasting this Sunday in honor of Mexican Independence Day. [LeNell’s]
Upper West Side: A second Magnolia bakery will open on 69th Street at Columbus this winter, and owner Steve Abrams thinks he can keep it a secret from tourists. [Eater] Juan Cuevas has left Blue Hill to be the chef de cuisine at Ed Brown’s Eighty One, which should open in December. [NYS]
Astoria: Ovens being removed from Le Petit Prince sparks fears that the bakery will be closed permanently. [Joey in Astoria]
Gramercy: The rooms at the Gramercy Park Hotel might start at $750 per night, but for the remainder of the summer, the third day is free and includes breakfast on the magically exclusive roof deck. [NewYorkology]
Harlem: Doughnuts and dogs will both be present at St. Nick’s Dog Park Coffee Bark this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. [Uptown Flavor]
Red Hook: LeNell Smothers is not only hunting for a new space for her bourbon-heavy liquor store, she also plans to open a (bourbon-heavy) bar right next to it. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Meatpacking District: No word on the fate of Socialista now that its backers, the Cipriani boys, have pleaded guilty to evading $10 million in taxes. [NYT]
Soho: A boutique hotel being raised at Broome and Thompson will feature a glass elevator that whisks guests from the street to an elevated lobby while simultaneously allowing them to point and laugh at nearby 60 Thompson. [Down by the Hipster]
Red Hook residents have had plenty to fret over in the past few years: the loss of Lillie’s, the arrival of Ikea, the possible close of Barge, whatever's happening with 360 (currently closed with no sign of reopening), and of course the ball-field vendors and their permit issues. And now we’re told by employee Amanda Womack that LeNell's, the city’s most eccentric liquor store (and arguably its bourbon mecca), is getting the boot from its landlord and looking for another location. “We have a year, but we’re looking now. We can move as soon as we find a place.” The question, then, is whether they're intent on staying in the neighborhood. Apparently not: “We want to stay in Red Hook,” Womack tells us, “and we’ll stay if we can. But there’s not much available right now.” Red Hook locals, we advise you to start stocking up on bourbon now.
Related: Best Liquor Store: LeNell’sIs This the Last Summer of the Red Hook Park Vendors?
A while back we gave you the heads-up that wormwood absinthe was coming to town. We are giddy (read blotto from absinthe) to report that the green fairy has touched down at certain liquor stores. “Lucid Absinthe has come in and is on the shelf, ready to go,” is the good word, via e-mail, from LeNell’s. Yesterday we called our local hookup, Park Avenue Liquor Shop, and were told, “We got twelve bottles in this morning. It just went like water.” Luckily we were able to get our trembling hands on the last $65 bottle (relax, Deutsche Bankers — the store is expecting six more today) and glub some of the stuff down at our desk (or desks? There are two of them now). Though it’s best diluted with water, we drank it straight (the building’s fire marshal wasn’t having the fire-and-sugar thing), and we can tell you the slightly syrupy stuff tastes like a much-spicier, somewhat-woodier version of Pernod, with a killer sinus finish. And so Grub Street enters its “blue period”
Earlier: Absinthe Feels So Good When It Hits the U.S. Market
New York’s food coverage this week has an air of decadence and satiety to it. Its mood is one of indulgence. Adam Platt wanders into two gastropubs and wanders out happy with one and very unhappy with the other. Charles Stuart Platkin describes the gastronomic orgy that is a tasting meal at Per Se and explains, scientifically, how insanely fattening it really is. Our three announced openings are likewise all of a starkly sybaritic kind: an expensive new sushi restaurant, a wine store, and a gelato parlor. And, this being Kentucky Derby time, this week’s In Season spotlights that perennial favorite of the idle, the classic mint julep, as prepared by LeNell Smothers, New York’s resident bourbon guru.