It used to be that throwback drinking meant quaffing Prohibition-era cocktails and Hemingway sippers. But these days, we’re seeing an emphasis on even older traditions, and a resurgence of traditional techniques that have long fallen out of use. Mead, the fermented honey drink that was made as early as 7000 BC in China and was drunk in North Europe during the Bronze Age, is making a comeback that started in the homebrew community and grew outward. And in just a few short months, Williamsburg will be home to one of the largest mead brewing operations in the country.
Food + Drink
OK, we’re almost in the clear for anything New Year’s Eve-related. But before we hurdle head-first into 2017, there’s one more place we lost over the holiday weekend that’s worth pouring one out for: a Williamsburg bar called Daddy’s.
These days, there are countless ways to act like an entitled jerk even if you don’t go around launching empty Turkey’s Nest cups into McCarren Park (pretty sure NYC squirrels are just paid actors anyway). For starters, Amazon Prime, Seamless, Caviar, and eBay have all contributed to a massive increase in packaging waste. But starting this week, if you live and/or order takeout food within the Greenpoint area, you can sign up for a new eco-conscious initiative that will help you hate yourself a little less. Patrons of two local restaurants will be given free takeout food containers that can be returned to the restaurant for reuse.
There’s no doubt Red Bull has staked its claim on the music industry (it just launched a web series, “Mavens,” dedicated to women in the industry), but how would you feel if we told you that things were going in the other direction, now that the music people are getting involved in the business of energized-drink making? It’s true: John Barclay of Bossa Nova Civic Club recently launched a yerba mate soda company called White Label. And the stuff ranks right up there with the energy-drink heavy hitters.
Attending an art opening usually means agreeing to a trade-off: in exchange for free booze and the company of other humans, you won’t be seeing much, if any of the art work. But at “Slow, Dimwitted Carnage,” the second exhibition from newcomer gallery Coustof Waxman, guests can have their art and, um, drink it too.
Looking for a taste of Copenhagen in the East Village? Last night marked the grand opening of n’eat, the latest entry in New York’s growing list of New Nordic eateries, which offers a relaxed take on one of the food world’s trendiest genres. The restaurant is the first stateside venture from chef Gabriel Hedlund and restaurateur Mathias Kær.
Something’s been cooking over at 2 Knickerbocker, the triangular lot that was once home to Amancay’s Diner, a late-night “spin the bottle” diner opened by a restauranteur known for his jello-wrestling glory days. The new tenant, Cape House, is a bit more serious minded, and aims to fill a big ol’ hole in the city’s food scene.
“It’s the age of integration,” explained Ingrid, the in-house herbalist on duty at The Alchemist’s Kitchen.
I would have nodded agreeably if there wasn’t a large needle jammed into my arm, delivering a pinkish-orange liquid straight into my veins by way of a plastic tube. It’s safe to say that I was probably one of the first people to shoot up on the corner of First and First since Mars Bar was torn down there years ago. But I wasn’t mainlining China White– I was undergoing the Drip Alchemy Experience, a “nutrient-rich journey” currently on offer at The Alchemist’s Kitchen, which opened in February on the ground floor of the sleek condo building that replaced Mars Bar.
As of this afternoon, for the first time ever, you can make your way up to the tip top of the brand new William Vale hotel, clink glasses with your crew and look out over the expanse of Brooklyn from the Westlight, the new Williamsburg luxury hotel’s 22nd-floor bar with 360-degree views of the city skyline. Suddenly, Brooklyn will look almost insignificant and underdeveloped, teeming with pathetic, spartan life. Shift your godlike eyes down toward the Wythe Hotel and its unfortunate patrons will look like drunken, desperate ants. “Literally, that’s the Wythe– look how little it looks,” a PR rep laughed along with us.
When word first emerged that Abby Ehmann, an East Village party organizer and neighborhood chronicler who’s resided in the hood since 1989, would be opening a bar on Avenue B, not everyone was all about it. There were enough bars, people said– in fact, there are several of them located on the block between 10th and 11th streets already. And worst of all, weren’t the proliferation of bars (especially the fancy cocktail ones) part of the problem?
Ask anybody who’s not from the so-called flyover states to describe a Midwesterner and you’re absolutely going to hear some variation on the word “nice.” But try asking an actual Midwesterner to say something about their own and it’s likely to be along the lines of, “Well, they don’t take themselves too seriously.”
Thankfully, Frank Bevan and Eric Odness, a pair of super chill Minneapolis rock-n’-roll vets, fit the latter description, and likewise their Greenpoint bar, Lake Street, is about as unpretentious as it gets. Just whatever you do, don’t call it a “Minneapolis-themed” bar.
“I can’t stand hearing that,” Frank said. “I don’t know what that means.”
What better way to spend your Sunday than spicin’ it up at Kimchipalooza 6? While this might sound like the latest edition of a concept-heavy music festival or B-movie, the truth is much tastier. It’s a kimchi festival happening for the 6th year in a row, celebrating jars full of the uber-healthy, probiotic, sometimes buried-underground, stinking-rotten cabbage native to Korean cuisine but that in the last several years has grown in popularity, transcending borders and spreading joy and a spicier, more complex approach to the blander sauerkraut more familiar to American tongues. They’re offering BBQ kimchi creations, live music, DJs, dranks, even a make-your-own kimchi station, and— brace yourself —a “super spicy” kimchi eating contest.