Lurie 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.
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 NewsRelated:Hidden Manhattan Nightspots Recall Speakeasies [amNY]
Clandestine Bars? Please Do Tell! [Gothamist]
In 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.
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]
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.
We’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”!)
We’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?
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
A 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.
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.