Booze Bulletin

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ROKC: As in Ramen + Oyster + Kitchen + Cocktails! This new Japanese bar and eatery from Owner/Beverage Director Shigefumi Kabashimi, brings cocktails and ramen to the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Harlem. Run by former bartenders from acclaimed speakeasy Angel’s Share, the bar is the stage for the room’s showstoppers – the cocktails. Located inconspicuously a few steps below street level at 3452 Broadway, guests enter a Japanese inspired white-washed room where they'll find cocktails served in a theatrical manner in light bulbs, bird’s nests, conches, and more. Listed by ingredient only, like the Smoke (Bourbon, Ancho Chile, Cynar, and House Bitters), the menu gives no hint of the imaginative ways in which the drinks are presented. Hailing from Maison Premiere, Jeff Srole has curated an extensive oyster and raw bar program, while Ramen Master Chef Isao Yoneda serves a menu of steamed buns, Japanese snacks, and ramen. Sit back and relax in this hidden ramen den and let the bartenders astound you with drinkable art.

UPTOWN BOURBON: Classic cocktails and vinyl touch down in Hamilton Heights.The intimate yet relaxed new neighborhood gem executes a straightforward yet superb menu of bourbon and rye-based cocktails – think an Old Fashioned marked with subtle hints of apricot or an expertly crafted Mint Julep. Farmhouse cheeses and charcuterie offerings pair perfectly with the classics. Bourbon enthusiasts can enjoy the approachable, reasonably priced list highlighting an extensive selection of under-the-radar labels. An eclectic vinyl collection serves as the bar’s soundtrack, and guests are invited to flip through to add their favorites to the queue. TVs? No. Great tunes, cocktails, company, and conversation? ✔  Check!


WHISKEY BRUNCH at PASSAGE IRISH BAR & KITCHEN: Passage Astoria introduces The Whiskey Brunch! Every month they will rotate five Irish Whiskeys showcasing various distilleries and styles. As a $32 add on to a Brunch entree purchase, these five whiskeys will serve as both an entry level introduction and a master class on the higher end versions of famous Irish Whiskey. Additionally, with the purchase of a brunch entrée you can opt for a 90 minute Bottomless Brunch for just $14 which includes Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas, Screwdrivers, House Wine and Select Draft Beers. View brunch details…

OCEAN PRIME: The modern American restaurant and lounge has partnered with Coravin to allow consumers to pour and enjoy wine without pulling the cork. The Coravin program will add four exclusive wines by the glass to OCEAN PRIME’s extensive wine list, which already features a variety of reds, whites, and sparkling wines. “Coravin’s technology changes the wine experience, allowing guests to sample and indulge one glass at a time instead of paying $140-$260 for the full bottle” says Beverage Director Ryan Valentine. Coravin works by pouring a glass of wine without ever opening a bottle via cork removal. A needle goes through the cork to access the wine, and argon (an inert gas used frequently in winemaking) replaces the wine in the bottle. This allows the restaurant to revisit the same bottle later that night, week, month, or year, and the wine will have the same taste because it was never exposed to oxygen. The following three red wines will be offered, with a fourth specially chosen by the General Manager:

  • Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino (2011)– a rustic, Italian wine from Tuscany that pairs well with steak. Brunello drinkers will be pleasantly surprised to have the opportunity to enjoy it by the glass.
  • Rochioli Pinot Noir (2014)– One of the best Pinot Noir producers in California, this Russian River Valley wine shows off the quality of the American Pinot Noir, while bringing out the best flavors in both salmon and steak.
  • Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon (2012)– a rich, Napa Valley Cabernet from Stag’s Leap District that also pairs well with the steak dishes on the menu, especially the Steak Au Poivre. The wines from this appellation are great for big flavored foods. 

(Photos from left: Coravin System at Ocean Prime; Mint Julep at Uptown Bourbon; Tomato/Clam Cocktail at ROKC: Smoke Cocktail at ROKC)

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