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Milk and Honey - I want to believe

Hounders,

I am trying to sort through the BS surrounding M&H. On one hand, loving the idea of enjoying some well crafted adult beverages using fresh ingredients made by "artists" who take pride in their work. On the other, a secret number? Really?

I am game for adventure and am intrigued, but is it hype over substance?

Gracias.

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  1. no offense (seriously) but yr description is what kills this place. they arent artists...they're bartenders...selling expensive but decent drinks in a small bar thats not crowded with the typical crap scene that is the LES (2007's bleecker street).

    its very hit and miss these days but i went on a late sunday night recently and it was nice and quiet and perfect for my mood. i doubt id ever go on a thur-sat night.

    9 Replies
    1. re: sam1

      repsonses like yours are the exact reason I use this site. If I wanted someone to blow smoke, I'd have gone on a fodor's website. I am hopeful you have an alternative suggestion.
      Thanks sam1

      1. re: Late to the party

        Go to Little Branch. Same owners, same freshly squeezed juice, no hassles and secret phone numbers.

        1. re: Late to the party

          id also highly suggest death and co. on 6th between 1st and a or tillman's on 26th (i think) for the same type of atmosphere. little branch is great too (probably my favorite bar in the city and you can ask them for m&h's "secret" number and they'll give it to you, no questions asked).

          1. re: jon

            D & Co. has a totally different vibe than M&H and doesn't have the same level of "customized" drinks that M&H has. I absolutley love D & Co. but it's not as subduded as M&H. East Side Co. is fantastic but the music is a bit louder and you're limited to their menu of drinks. You can't go wrong with any of them but I hold M&H to a bit higher standard than the others.

              1. re: Late to the party

                IMO, it's not all hype but it also isn't what it used to be. Here's what I think happened. For a while, the number was exclusive and the place was not crowded. Then, for whatever reason, they started publishing the number on websites like citysearch, which led to the place being mobbed. Then they went back to keeping the number secret, which ticked everyone off without solving the overcrowding problem. As a result, M&H comes across now as overcrowded with attitude, which is kind of a double whammy.

            1. re: Late to the party

              i try my best.

              a little digging, and you'll find the number. as for little branch, it has the same quality drinks but without the number or the crowd control, it gets packed and not worth it.

              alternatives? brandy library in tribeca.

              1. re: Late to the party

                For alternatives, Little Branch, East Side Co. Bar (also same owners), Flatiron Lounge

            2. In my humble opinion none of the places that are M&H offshoots/affiliates (Death & Co, Pegu Club, Little Branch, Employees Only, Gin Lane, East Side) come close to the quality at M&H. Actually, Little Branch is close, but I still think M&H is better.

              Rather than, as others here seem to, look at the number and the semi-undisclosed location as pretentious annoyances, I look at them as ways to attempt to keep the crowd down. The number is pretty easy to come by (in fact, if you walk to the bar they'll give it to you) but the real trick to it is keeping the bar to reservations only - therefore being uncrowded at all times. Little Branch is a great spot, but the "waiting" area there fills up and becomes annoyingly crowded like most other bars. I agree that the m&h scene is not for everyone (for instance, it is terrible for mingling) and if you want to get massively drunk and speak loudly and that sort of thing, it is obviously wrong - but I think their simple rules and limitation to reservations only create a very specific, and well-received atmosphere. To their credit, Death & Co. also have the "reservation only" policy, but the guy at the door will just call your cell when your table is ready.

              1. Oh, and for less annoyance but a still-chill atmosphere, I definitely second Flatiron Lounge. Love that place.

                1. My advice is go. The drinks can not be beat. If you can't find the number, then I recommend stopping by at nine when they open. It is rarely busy around that time on week nights and they may seat you immediately or call you when a table is available. I have been a regular for years and it started going down hill a bit around the time they opened East Side Company Bar. They ripped the Kiehl's soap and lotion dispensers out of the bathroom and replaced them with soap from Chinatown loosing a little of the special atmosphere.

                  But unlike any of the other bars mentioned in the thread, Milk & Honey has no menu, so you can order anything you want. Basically you are asked what type of alcohol you like, (gin seems to be the preferred libation, but they will give you vodka, but definitely don't order a cosmopolitan), if you want something sweet or sour, or you can request on of the fresh squeezed juices of the evening. Then the waitress will make suggestions. Most of the drinks are served with Bodum metal straws/stir sticks which I love and they don't have at M&H's sister bars: Little Branch or East Side Company Bar.

                  It is basically a serious place to become fabulously drunk. If you are lucky they may even bring you a plate of strawberries and whipped cream.

                  My other favorites are Pegu Club and Death & Company, and Bemelman's bar if you are uptown. For great drinks with food sit at the bar at Freeman's, where some of Milk & Honey's bartenders also work. They will often make you many of the same M&H cocktails if it isn't too busy.

                  Imbibe and enjoy!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: wlark

                    THX wlark. I believe we'll be giving it a go. Getting thirsty just reading your comments.

                    1. re: Late to the party

                      i'm a fan of all of the above....

                      by the way, the tenders at death&co are totally into 'custom' cocktails too. they will do whatever, just talk to them!

                    2. re: wlark

                      ah, the strawberries with real whipped cream and honey... our table was lucky enough a few times to get them, and i remember them fondly.

                    3. Does anyone know what's up with M&H? They were closed last night (on a saturday night) and I tried to go about two weeks ago on a saturday and it was closed then too. Very closed. Padlock on the door sort of closed. And I don't have the new changed number to see if their voice mail has an explanation.

                      Sasha on vacation or something?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Nehna

                        the number I used a while back (maybe in May) is no longer in service.

                      2. I think blue owl is a great alternative, as well as Death & Co. and Pegu. Anyone been to PDT yet?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: kam0424

                          I went to PDT once, I was really excited to go. It's just whatever, a nice quiet place to have some cocktails with friends. The cocktails were fine, but wasn't anything to go out of your way for. I'd much rather go to Pegu Club.

                          1. re: janethepain

                            agreed on pdt...for me, it's opening back in may was the zenith for this sort of thing. its fine enough but the cheese factor is very high here.