My most recent trip to New York was all about discovering new places that I hadn’t been before. Previous visits had seen me fall into my usual routines, and this time I wanted to shake it up a bit. Chris left our evening plans in my hands one night, so I plotted out a little bar and restaurant crawl in the East Village, ticking off a few of the places that had been on my hitlist for a while…
Dinner: Flinders Lane
Flinders Lane serves up bold, streamlined food that is the essence of Modern Australian cuisine, taking inspiration from nearby Southeast Asia, and influences from the food of British settlers, mixed with that of Greek and Italian immigrants. The menu is an array of fresh seafood and fruit and veg, and the restaurant succeeds in bringing a slice of Melbourne’s energy to NYC.
The interior is dim and original, with graffitied walls and industrial furniture, which is in contrast to the beautifully presented, dainty dishes.
We started with Diver Caught Scallops, then segued into Montauk Fluke and Steamed Snapper.
Chris had ordered all the fish, so I brought things back down to earth with a gourmet sausage roll! We drank Aperol Spritzes and Smoked Carrot Margaritas.
A wonderful find on Avenue A – a little pricey, but such high quality and with a buzzing vibe. I would definitely recommend.
162 Avenue A, Manhattan, NY 10009
Drinks #1: Amor y Amargo
After attempting a table at Death + Company on East 6th St, we were told to come back in half an hour – but Amor y Amargo, owned by the same people, was just down the road if we wanted to drink there for a bit.
Amor y Amargo translates to Love & Bitters, and this pretty much sums the place up. With a wall of different home-made bitters flavours behind the bar, we went off-menu and put ourselves in the bargirl’s hands. She mixed up some Old Fashioned-esque drinks, using a chocolate bitters to create chocolate orange short drinks.
Amor y Amargo is tiny – the only seating is along the bar, but the atmosphere was pretty special and it was the perfect spot for a drink before heading back to the much anticipated Death + Co.
Amor y Amargo
443 E 6th St, Manhattan, NY 10009
Drinks #2: Death + Company
Death + Company is best introduced with a short story:
In 1919, the Volstead Act brought a swift end to nightlife, and the refined craft of the American bartender was outlawed. It was thought that to drink alcohol was to live a life shadowed by death. To those who shun the night, those who shine after dusk, Death + Co offers a warm embrace.
It is notoriously difficult to get through the heavy wooden doors and into the near pitch black but busy bar that is Death + Co, but once you’re in, you’ll be kept occupied for a while with the long list of cocktails on offer. Interspersed with amusing alchohol-related quotes, the menu journeys through a myriad of different spirit bases – though Chris and I turned straight to the whiskey page – “Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whiskey makes it go round twice as fast.”
Service was slow (probably because our waitress struggled to see us in the darkness), but the drinks were good when they arrived. Was Death + Co as good as the hype suggested? Probably not – we’d have been just as happy to stay down the road at Amor y Amargo.
Death + Company
433 E 6th St, Manhattan, NY 10009
Drinks #3: Mayahuel
The third bar on East 6th street is Mayahuel, a Mexican bar determined to correct people’s misconstrued notions about agave spirits – namely Tequila and Mezcal, these are not spirits to be shotted, but are some of the most complex spirits on the planet, to be sipped, savoured and enjoyed. Mayahuel is not just a cocktail bar, but a place for people to experience the spirit of Mexico, while enjoying the greatest spirits of Mexico!
A broad menu, with drink names that sound like they came right out of Game of Thrones (Baby Dragons, The Red Baron, Pale Rider…), you can expect to be thoroughly educated in Mexican spirits during your visit.
Even the interior transports you to Mexico, with Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) references here and there, and an authentic food menu on offer too.
I actually visited Mayahuel back in 2012 with my girlfriends, and it was as huge a hit then as it is now.
304 E 6th St, Manhattan, NY 10003