Esquire (USA)

“That’s when it hit me: ‘Okay, if I mess this up, my ca­reer is ba­si­cally over.’ The pres­sure hit for a mo­ment, for those two hours, and then I was back. I was okay af­ter.”

- Alcoholic Drinks · Recreation · Nashville · Miami · Los Angeles · Havana · Cuba · Santiago · Las Vegas · Nebraska · New York City · Fun (band) · Times Square · Italy · California · West Coast · Philadelphia · San Francisco · Seattle · Vice City · Santiago de Cuba · Santiago de Cuba · Ian Schrager · Roxy Music · Roxy Music · Jody Williams · Sophia Loren · Ojai, CA

served on a big rock, and take in a stel­lar mu­si­cal lineup at night that ri­vals those of spots in down­town Nashville. Yep, I love this place. 102 East Pales­tine Av­enue —K. S.

MI­AMI

CAFE LA TROVA

Deep in Lit­tle Ha­vana is chef Michelle Bern­stein and bar­man Julio Cabr­era’s homage to 1950s San­ti­ago de Cuba. Cabr­era is the keeper of the can­tinero tra­di­tion, the hos­pitable, well-groomed style of bar­tend­ing that orig­i­nated in Cuba. It’s the real deal here, with fo­cused drinks that go be­yond the mo­jito (although they make an ex­cel­lent one). Try the Pres­i­dente; it will put in doubt your loy­alty to the man­hat­tan. 971 SW Eighth Street —K. S.

MAMA TRIED

With a wrap-around bar, starlight ceil­ing, and mod fur­ni­ture, Mama Tried is like an ide­al­ized ’70s Las Ve­gas bar that crash-landed in down­town Mi­ami.

While man­u­fac­tured dives can drip in irony, this place gets the de­light­ful scuzzy de­tails just right. Bonus to the cheap beers and cig­a­rette ma­chine: ex­cel­lent cock­tails.

207 NE First Street —K. S.

NEW YORK

UN­DER­COTE

The de­sign? Luxe ter­rar­ium bunker. The lo­ca­tion? Tucked be­neath Korean steak­house Cote. The vibe? Ex­otic, classy, and un­abashedly fun. And the cock­tails match, thanks to the cre­ative ef­fort of head bar­tender Son­dre Kasin. Try the ar­ti­sanal Red Bull vodka made with a home­made en­ergy drink and Cham­pagne. 16 West Twen­ty­sec­ond Street —K. S.

701WEST

Some­times you need to be dis­creet. In fact, some­times you want to meet some­one in a dark, plush cor­ner of an Ian Schrager ho­tel bar that’s eleven floors above Times Square. That kind of dis­creet. You want the ren­dezvous to feel as dressed up and has­sle-free as a Roxy Mu­sic song, so you de­cide

Rule No. 290 SORRY. A MAR­TINI SIPPED THROUGH A CRAZY STRAW IS NO LONGER A MAR­TINI.

on 701West, where Miche­lin­starred chef John Fraser is cook­ing the bar snacks and where sips like the Jas­mine French sound as if they could be James Bond char­ac­ters. Don’t ask and we won’t tell. 701 Sev­enth Av­enue, Eleventh Floor —J. G.

BAR PISELLINO

Rita Sodi and Jody Wil­liams, the part­ners be­hind the beloved Via Carota, know that de­tails mat­ter, and Bar Pisellino is a ver­i­ta­ble shrine to those de­tails. Am­ber­hued and hum­ming all day long, it is not an Ital­ian bar as much as it is an ec­cen­tri­cally ro­man­tic fan­ta­sia of what you imag­ine a bar in Italy could be. If Sophia Loren sud­denly walked in, you would not be shocked. 52 Grove Street —J. G.

OJAI, CAL­I­FOR­NIA

TIP­PLE & RAM­BLE

If I were to de­sign the per­fect cen­tral-Cal­i­for­nia wine bar, I would put it out­side, so that drinkers could soak in the West Coast sun­shine, swing in a ham­mock, or­der some em­panadas and a plat­ter of mezes and a bot­tle of Grüner Velt­liner, and drink and eat at tiled pic­nic ta­bles un­der an awning in the back­yard. I don’t have to dream that up, though, be­cause Tip­ple & Ram­ble al­ready ex­ists. 315 North Mont­gomery Street —J. G.

PHILADEL­PHIA

FI­UME

Fi­ume feels like a stu­dioa­part­ment punk-rock pop-up even though it has been in op­er­a­tion for two decades. Last call comes

when the bar­tender bangs a cym­bal hang­ing from the ceil­ing. (“I’ve got a mallet for it,” he’ll tell you.) But watch how that bar­tender peels fresh cit­rus, grabs you a chilled glass, painstak­ingly eye­balls the ingredient­s in your Or­tolan. This is a bar where people care—even if they act like they don’t. 229 South Forty-fifth Street —J. G.

FRI­DAY SATUR­DAY SUN­DAY To get an idea of the am­bi­tion of the drinks at Fri­day Satur­day Sun­day, ask bar­tender Paul Mac­Don­ald to ex­plain the cock­tails he makes based on the Fi­bonacci se­quence. They are mys­te­ri­ously round yet an­gu­lar. And de­li­cious. But this place is far from pre­cious—it’s al­ways friendly, and hop­ping. You’ll run into some­one you know any sec­ond now. 261 South Twenty-first Street —K. S.

SAN FRAN­CISCO

MARTUNI’S

The dark, dim bar Martuni’s is a San Fran­cisco in­sti­tu­tion where ev­ery­one is wel­come. The green neon out­line of a fa­mil­iar cock­tail glass draws you in for one thing: a mar­tini—large, strong, ice-cold gin or vodka? Lemon twist or olive? Dirty or ex­tra dirty? You won’t be judged for your pref­er­ence. Stay for the pi­ano bar in the back, which on any given night is packed with lo­cals singing loudly, joy­fully in uni­son. 4 Va­len­cia Street —Omar Mamoon

SEAT­TLE

BOT­TLE­HOUSE

If you have ever day­dreamed about con­vert­ing your place of habi­ta­tion into a drink­ing es­tab­lish­ment, con­sider Bot­tle­house, the in­car­na­tion of your wish. It’s an ac­tual house in the mid­dle of the yoga-mom mag­net that is Seat­tle’s Madrona neigh­bor­hood. Sit by the win­dow, or out on the pa­tio when the sun deigns to show up. The bev­er­age list goes be­yond wine and ven­tures know­ingly into ciders, ver­mouths, sher­ries, and Pa­cific North­west beers. You live here now, so you have time to try them all. 1416 Thir­ty­fourth Av­enue —J. G.

 ??  ?? Mi­ami‘s Mama Tried is the disco dive bar of your dreams.
Mi­ami‘s Mama Tried is the disco dive bar of your dreams.
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 ??  ?? Todd Thrasher sent me this co­conut rum the week I would have been on an is­land va­ca­tion. It was a very good sub­sti­tute. —K. S.
Ten hours af­ter wak­ing up to a cup of black cof­fee I wish I could sea­son with whiskey, I get to close my lap­top and drink some­thing richer, sweeter, smoother, stronger: this, on ice, made all the bet­ter be­cause I held out. —Sarah Rense
Se­ri­ous drink-mak­ing hap­pens at Fri­day Satur­day Sun­day in Philadel­phia; Chicago’s Bam­boo Room knows fancy daiquiris.
Todd Thrasher sent me this co­conut rum the week I would have been on an is­land va­ca­tion. It was a very good sub­sti­tute. —K. S. Ten hours af­ter wak­ing up to a cup of black cof­fee I wish I could sea­son with whiskey, I get to close my lap­top and drink some­thing richer, sweeter, smoother, stronger: this, on ice, made all the bet­ter be­cause I held out. —Sarah Rense Se­ri­ous drink-mak­ing hap­pens at Fri­day Satur­day Sun­day in Philadel­phia; Chicago’s Bam­boo Room knows fancy daiquiris.
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 ??  ?? A mar­tini made with No­let’s and its big, flow­ery notes will re­mind you of an eter­nal spring, even when you’re stuck in­side. —K. S.
A mar­tini made with No­let’s and its big, flow­ery notes will re­mind you of an eter­nal spring, even when you’re stuck in­side. —K. S.

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