At New York City's Simit + Smith, a small chain whose third Manhattan store opened this week in the Financial District (within 100 feet of both a Starbucks branch and an independent, third-wave cafe, Blue Spoon), Turkish coffees are prepared to order for workers, traders, Turkophiles, and tourists alike—all in a fully automated Turkish coffee machine.
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"We're trying to tell a story of distillation in our drinks and on our menu," says Benjamin Wood, bartender at the newly opened TriBeCa spot, Distilled NY. The story, Wood says, is about "that process of starting out with one thing and transforming it into something new."
"What I loved about developing this menu is that my imagination really wasn't stifled," says head bartender Moses Laboy, a 16-year New York City bar veteran whose resume includes Red Rooster and Donatella. "What's cool is that we take these five different Latin spirits [tequila, mezcal, rum, cachaça, and pisco] and show each of them in three different preparation styles."
The 12-seat, reservations-only Tribeca lounge is located just one floor below chef Matthew Lightner's acclaimed tasting menu spot. The chef and Atera team have collaborated with Brandon Duff, previously of Weather Up, to create a seasonal cocktail list starring truly unexpected flavor combinations. Join us for a peek at the drinks.
Bikini Bar (yes, it's called that, and no, no one inside was wearing bikinis the day we visited) sits on a cozy stretch of Duane Street, and houses the neighborhood's first surfboard-lifestyle themed espresso bar.
The Pembrokeshire ($7) at Terroir Tribeca may be more suited for the late sultry summer months, but it hits the spot even on a chilly day. Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice brightens up a spoonful of Nikolaihof elderflower cordial that's stirred into frothy club soda.
Kanlo quietly opened in a former art gallery in Tribeca in early January. Bypass the ordinary flavors here—Kanlo's strength lies with more unusual offerings.
My smoothie consumption increases manifold during the summer. I have a mental list of all my favorite spots in town for these sweet drinks-as-meals, and one of these places is Moomah Cafe in Tribeca.