This Week’s NY Happenings: Manhattan Cocktail Classic, BBQ Blowout, The Pines

FRIDAY: The Cocktail Classic Shakes and Stirs Citywide
The fourth Manhattan Cocktail Classic drops this weekend, celebrating mixology across four boroughs, five nights, and dozens of venues. Catch a buzz and some knowledge as Middle Branch hosts an Ode to Eau, Booker and Dax show off techniques and technology, and Huckleberry Bar serves spirits made with Brooklyn pride. There’s plenty more on offer, including an Industry Invitational at the Andaz Fifth Avenue; get on the highball as tickets are going fast.

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic runs from Friday, May 17th through Tuesday, May 21st, at venues like Booker and Dax (207 Second Ave., East Village). To learn more about the bars, check out the listings in bold above at BlackBook Guides. Photo by Belathée Photography.

TUESDAY: BBQ Blowout
Greg Bresnitz and the Snacky Tunes crew return for another series of summer barbecues. This year’s inaugural blowout sees Brooklyn Brewery peeps serving Middle Eastern bites and Summer Ales at Good Co.

BBQ Blowout starts at 7pm, Tuesday, May 14th, at Good Co. (10 Hope St., Williamsburg). Advance tickets are $10 and include a beer and a plate of food. To learn more about Good Co., check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

SATURDAY: Beyond The Pines
Gowanus charmer (no, that’s not an oxymoron) The Pines puts their leafy backyard into play with a cider bar and a menu of outdoor exclusives. Look for the likes of cheese, clams, and Wagyu steaks grilled over a wood fire.

Backyard at The Pines (284 Third Ave., Gowanus) opens Saturday, May 18th. To learn more about The Pines, check out its listing at BlackBook Guides.

Was Andaz 5th Avenue Last Year’s Coolest Hotel Opening?

My friends are the first to admit that it takes a lot for me to venture to Midtown. Mostly, it’s because I’m never home — when I am, I like the comfort and familiarity of the Lower East Side. So it was a special occasion when I found myself headed north to visit my out-of-state friend, who was staying at the Andaz Fifth Avenue. The hotel never lost its buzz since it opened last July, and after the trek to the hotel—across from the New York Public Library—I found out why.

Andaz is Hyatt’s boutique option, less cookie-cutter than your average Midtown hotel. The second floor had wall-size bookcases full of works by Magritte (did they know I was coming?) and a gorgeous outdoor space with perfectly placed gravel, which I’m sure I’ve seen as a backdrop in fashion magazines. Everything in my friend’s room was functional, sleek, and aesthetically pleasing, without being in your face. The mini-bar was free, the windows actually opened, and all the tech was activated by touch sensors. But the biggest surprise was the oversize bathrooms. They were huge and equipped with C.O Bigelow toiletries. The shower itself had a separate spout for a foot bath, such a nice touch for travelers who might be spending all day on their feet.

We ventured down to the signature restaurant, the Shop, which was a little stuffy for a cool hotel, but I didn’t pay any mind after that seasonal pumpkin bread pudding arrived. The downstairs bar was upbeat but had a downtown feel, with indie rock music playing and a nice variety of cocktails (apparently Alchemy Consulting helped create the menu). Another cool touch was that there was no front desk. You’re greeted upon check-in, then sort of whisked away to your room. I ended up staying the night (I blame it on the stiff cocktails at the bar) despite my friend losing a potential overnight hook-up. He’ll get over it.

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NYC Previews: Pies-n-Thighs, Andaz Wall Street, Andaz Fifth Avenue

Pies-n-Thighs (Williamsburg) – Long-awaited return of comfort food legend. ● Andaz Wall Street (Lower Manhattan) – Hyatt gets haute on the Financial District. ● Andaz Fifth Avenue (Midtown East) – New-school Hyatt brings both style and substance to the heart of midtown.