Monday, June 27, 2011
NYC Cocktail Week at The Rum House
I'm not the biggest fan of Restaurant Week in New York, mostly because I'm cheap and would spend less than $35 on food for myself in an entire week if left to my own devices. But equally because I enjoy a drink with dinner and that can get very expensive very quickly.
But sometimes special occasions present themselves, like a friend's birthday excursion to see a show in the Theater District. And isn't it always better to be drinking when you have to go through Times Square on a Friday night?
With this in mind, we ventured to The Rum House at the Hotel Edison - the only remotely midtown-area bar participating in the grand NYC Cocktail Week. The bar is a recently revived old-timey lounge and piano bar, and the scene was a fascinating people-watching mixture of 50/50 wandering tourists and destination minded hipster cocktail snobs (I like to think that we fell into the grey ether being a bit of both). Thankfully, it wasn't too busy even during the post-work happy hour time that usually floods the downtown bars.
The Cocktail Week deal continues until this Wednesday and for $20.11, you get two full-sized cocktails with an appetizer. I'm told it is "very New York" to consider this a bargain, but keep in mind: 1) well-crafted cocktails in these bars normally go for $12-$15, 2) this is the Theater District where it's tough to find a beer for less than $9, 3) you can split the deal!
And thank goodness for point number three, since apparently this can't be done at all participating bars. You get a choice of four cocktails and either spiced almonds or hard-boiled eggs with smoked salt (okay, not the most spectacular appetizer choices, but they don't serve food here normally). The almonds were surprisingly good and seasoned with a flaky sea salt/smoked paprika/cayenne mixture which was a really nice change from the shellacked sugary coating that I was expecting.
I ordered the Pathallus Molly (which I'm appreciating even more now due to the word play), a gin-based slightly salty sinus-clearer served with spicy pickled green beans.
Belated birthday girl Jill had a variation on a Negroni which was slightly sweetened with added whiskey. Both drinks were rather perfect for our tastes, and accordingly, very very strong. A single sipper cocktail to last you an entire evening? I consider that a bargain, even if it is a bit "New York."