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Seeking premium cocktails in Westchester

JMF Dec 15, 2008 11:27 AM

Are there any fine bars/restaurants with a real cocktail program in Westchester? Mixologists crafting fine libations with care? Places along the lines of NYC places like PDT, Death & Co, Pegu Club, Little Branch, Angel Share, etc.

Somewhere when I ask for a Manhattan they'll ask what type of rye, what proportion of Antica Formula Vermouth, and what type of bitters; and they'll have a whole range of bitters like Fee's Peychaud's, Regan's, Bitter Truth, Bitterman's, etc. A place that knows what a Vieux Carré is and how to make it, or a Ramos Gin Fizz. A place that squeezes the juice fresh and makes their own falernum or orgeat.

So is there?

Not some place charging $16 for a regular martini made with regular gin and vermouth, or some neon green cocktail in a glass the size of your head, but a real cocktail bar making exquisite drinks.

  1. d
    dolores Dec 15, 2008 12:04 PM

    Wow, I'd love to find that out too. I've been here longer than Moses and haven't yet found such a place.

    4 Replies
    1. re: dolores
      v
      VFresser Dec 15, 2008 12:30 PM

      Oooh, and a place where they will make me a genuine Sidecar?
      That would be a fine Chanukah present indeed....

      1. re: VFresser
        JMF Dec 20, 2008 04:18 AM

        Well, if I ever move back to Westchester, once I have my brewery and distillery up and running, I will definitely start a fine cocktail bar. Small, nice woodwork, a dozen seat bar with padded captains chairs, a few candle lit tables, soft music from the early to mid-1900's; and no standing, seating at tables or the bar, or not at all. No loud talking or shouting. Not a pick-up spot, but a place for a couple, or 2-3 friends, to talk, relax, and enjoy fine libations.

        1. re: JMF
          d
          dolores Dec 21, 2008 01:45 AM

          JMF, it seems that there are no places as you described. I didn't think there were.

          I look forward to your return.

          1. re: JMF
            GIOny Dec 29, 2008 01:17 PM

            anxiously awaiting

      2. m
        mark r Dec 21, 2008 04:51 AM

        boy, do i hear ya!

        love death and co and pdt in the city and would love to find a place up here that can come close to those places. i just moved up to rye from city and and amazed i cant find a good drink in westchester!

        if you find one - please post!

        2 Replies
        1. re: mark r
          i
          intrepid Dec 21, 2008 05:09 AM

          pdt ??

          1. re: intrepid
            r
            rpk Dec 21, 2008 06:15 AM

            It stands for "Please Don't Tell". Since I read the "secret" in Time Out New York, I guess it's OK to tell it: go into Crif Dogs (113 St Marks Pl), enter the phone booth, and lift the receiver. Those directions are unconfirmed by me, but that's what it said. The review indicated that they make an especially good Old Fashioned.

        2. e
          Elizabeth Johnson Dec 28, 2008 05:51 AM

          JMF: the cocktail program at the Farmhouse at Bedford Post is looking pretty promising.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Elizabeth Johnson
            JMF Jan 7, 2009 05:03 AM

            Sounds good for those in upper westchester, but the city is actually closer to where I stay in 'Bronkers' and lower westchester than bedford is.

          2. JMF Mar 18, 2010 01:45 PM

            Bumping this up. I'm all moved back to Lower Westchester and still looking for fine cocktails. Not going to be opening my own cocktail bar for a few more years since I'm focusing on other projects.

            I know that 42 at the Ritz-Carlton in White Plains is supposed to have a good cocktail menu since it was designed by a good friend and excellent mixologist, Junior Merino. Anyone been there?

            I did some online research and Blue restaurant in White Plains came up for cocktails, and and found this blurb at The Foxfire lounge in the Renaissance Westchester Hotel "Join us each night for "Renaissance Cocktail Culture"."

            8 Replies
            1. re: JMF
              s
              scarsdale1234 Mar 18, 2010 05:25 PM

              42 in WP

              1. re: scarsdale1234
                JMF Mar 19, 2010 11:32 AM

                what about 42? That wasn't very helpful.

                1. re: JMF
                  a
                  anonymouse1935 Mar 19, 2010 01:08 PM

                  How much are their drinks, e.g., a martini?

                  1. re: anonymouse1935
                    c
                    cubanat Mar 19, 2010 03:38 PM

                    The problem with this concept is that there are not enough people that will spend the money in this area on drinks of this nature AND/OR care about the quality of the drink to keep said business running. It's sad but the truth. While in NYC though check out the cocktails at Tailor---if it's still open for they filed chapter 11 a while ago--great place great food & better drinks but alas even in NYC it's tough.

                    1. re: cubanat
                      JMF Mar 20, 2010 06:16 AM

                      Tailor closed down quite awhile ago. Almost a year I think. I am friends with Eben Freeman who ran the bar and created the drink menu. He's been off in Asia for most of the past six months doing his magic, although I saw him a few weeks ago. He's back there again with a bunch of other friends doing a cocktail consulting tour for the next few months.

                      1. re: JMF
                        c
                        cubanat Mar 20, 2010 10:52 AM

                        that stinks. tailor was a great resto. just bad location (to mainstream touristy) and timing. the smoked coke and bourbon was awesome as were the "solid cocktails."

                        1. re: cubanat
                          c
                          christinepierce Mar 22, 2010 01:22 PM

                          that is too bad that they closed. I wish there was a place like the original Milk and Honey in the city too. Death & Co. also.

                          1. re: christinepierce
                            r
                            RawTunaFan Mar 26, 2010 05:40 AM

                            Or Dutch Kills in L.I.C. , better drinks than Milk and Honey, I think cheaper. But definitely needed up here in Westchester, along with a good Thai and good Vietnamese.

            2. r
              RedMeat_n_Whisky Mar 30, 2010 11:59 PM

              JMF -
              I have trained both restaurant management and bar staff in the tri-state area for years. Presently, there is no establishment along the lines of PDT, etc in Westchester. That being said, certain points in your inquiry I have found in the following (some surprising) facilities...42 does have a selection of cocktails containing everything from fresh purees to infusions. I left with a bad taste in my mouth when during my last visit I ordered a single-malt with 1 ice cube and the bartender went into a op.ed about how I don't know how to drink scotch...although corporate and Disney-esq, The Cheesecake Factory barstaff makes daily stocks of orgeat syrup, ginger syrup and makes an authentic sidecar. Moderate pricing ($10 - $14 for most cocktails) but again, you're at a Cheesecake Factory...X2O in Yonkers is promising but I have only patronized during brunch. Good bloody marys - spicy and flavorful.

              Beer and ales rule in White Plains but don't give up hope. I know a few guys in the business who are putting together 2 new wonderful, independent eateries. 1 in Poughkeepsie and 1 in Eastchester. Cocktail menus are impressive and ingredients are fresh and well thought out. Good luck.

              2 Replies
              1. re: RedMeat_n_Whisky
                a
                anonymouse1935 Mar 31, 2010 03:38 AM

                >>makes an authentic sidecar.

                Do they??? I've long wanted to try one of these. Should any name liquors be cited when asking for one?

                >>you're at a Cheesecake Factory

                Ambiance don't matter if the drinks start at $17. -- I'd rather have moderate (I have to laugh at moderate being $14.) and good than fancy and be gouged.

                Incredible that Westchester is a wasteland of not only a good number of outstanding, varied restaurants, but even of a place that serves amazing cocktails.

                1. re: RedMeat_n_Whisky
                  i
                  imm08 Mar 31, 2010 08:47 AM

                  Interested to hear more about the new eatery coming to Eastchester. Keep us posted. Any hints you can give at the present?

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