More Sandy Relief Benefits This Week, All With a Boozy Twist

It’s great that after a few weeks, two holidays, and another on the way, people are still recognizing the disaster that Hurricane Sandy caused in various parts of the city. In the next nine days there are four fun events aimed at raising money for victims, displaced families, and devastated businesses. Here are some ways you can give more to the relief efforts, and drink your face off at the same time.

Tonight, hit up the Bowery Hotel for the 1st Annual New York Bartenders Ball featuring live music by Chances With Wolves and cocktails made by drink mavericks from Death & Co, Employees Only, PDT, Ward III, Dutch Kills, Dram, The Whiskey Brooklyn, and Weather Up Tribeca. Starting at 7pm, $100 gets you in for a five-hour open bar with food, and every penny goes to Occupy Sandy NYC Relief and the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation

Also tonight, the $10 donation at the door of NYC Heart’s NYC event at The Tippler will be donated to victims of the hurricane. While you feel good about giving back, you can also feel good about shaking your tail to Diane Birch and Maverick & Ice, and then, participating in the live auction hosted by Brian McCarthy. The party runs from 6pm to 2am, and they will serve $10 cocktails and nibbles all night long. 

The Barman’s Fund is at it again, but this time they are inviting you to party down at Dutch Kills on Sunday, December 2 at 9pm until 2am. Join them for the 2nd Annual Barman’s Fund Holiday Shindig, where for $50 you can feast on food by #7 Sub and The Vanderbilt, sip cocktails made with Brooklyn Gin, Tito’s Vodka, Owney’s Rum, and others, all mad by barman Richard Boccato. All proceeds go to various NYC charities. 

Next Tuesday, December 4, The Brooklyn Brewery hosts a Hurricane Sandy relief fundraiser for Rockaway Surf Club, Red Hook Initiative, and Coney Recovers. Tickets run $40 and include a commemorative tasting glass, unlimited samples of beer from breweries including Blue Point, Kelso, Dogfish Head, Empire, Founders, and more. With all these incentives, giving has never felt so good.


Photo by Caspar Newbolt

Long Island City Cocktail Den Dutch Kills Launches Happy Hour

Finding affordable quality cocktails in this town is never easy. But when Dutch Kills opened up in Long Island City back in 2009, the drinks were a bargain compared to their shaken and stirred counterparts in Manhattan — without sacrificing quality. Now, Richie Boccato and company have decided to practically give their drinks away with a newly installed happy hour. As far as we can tell, this is a first in the world of the neo-speakeasy.

The happy hour, dubbed “Battle Axe” Gleason, after the corrupt late-1800s mayor of Long Island City, is in effect from 5 to 7pm, Sunday through Thursday. Says Boccato, “The decision to implement the happy hour menu was based upon the recognition that the people involved in the current commercial, and residential boom that is occurring in Long Island City, would appreciate the opportunity to raise a very reasonably priced drink or two after work (or before dinner) from a choice selection of some of the cocktails that we are known to serve during peak hours.”

For a sampling of the menu, which includes handcrafted rum and vodka drinks, see below.



Painkiller’s New Logo Is, Well, Killer

Lovers of logos, get excited. Also, lovers of adventurous New York drinking dens, you can get excited, too. Painkiller, that Lower East Side, 70s-inspired tiki bar is approaching their opening date, and they’ve got the highly badass logo to prove it. The owners, Richie Boccato and Giuseppe Gonzalez designed the logo themselves, with the intention of mimicking the New York Hard Core logo Boccato would see everywhere as a youth.

“It’s a symbol that I used to see so much around New York,” says Boccato. “Particularly as I made my way up from my native Brooklyn to the mean streets of Manhattan. Back in those days, the Bowery was an entirely different and exponentially more appealing scene to a young man with delinquent tendencies.”

Boccato came up through the Sasha Petraske cocktail empire (Little Branch, Milk and Honey), and Painkiller is his second venture as an owner, after he and Gonzalez opened the Long Island City saloon Dutch Kills last summer. He says of the logo, “My partner and I sketched out the logo to include a classically inspired tiki mask with the tools of our trade, a swizzle stick and a barspoon.We then gave this concept to Kenny Colvin of Giant Squid Press, and he and his team ran with it.”


Taste Test: Isobella Jade @ Dutch Kills

When you’ve accumulated a respectable pile of liquor products sent in for review by the publicist-beverage complex, it’s time to hold a Taste Test. Our subject for this test is petite model Isobella Jade, who just released a graphic novel of her memoir covering her petite modeling experiences, A Model Life: The Journey of a Pint-Sized Fashion Warrior. Her comrades: Jazmin Ruotolo, who illustrated Model Life; and handbag designer Nick McGlynn. The venue: Long Island City mixology haven Dutch Kills, where they were kind enough to give us a booth and look the other way for awhile. Feel free to check out the damage in the photo gallery. Enough intro, let’s to the booze, shall we?

Tanteo Chocolate Tequila Jazmin: Chocolate. For tequila it’s pretty smooth. Jacquelyn: Yeah, it’s smooth and soft, like chocolate. There’s a hint of tequila but it’s very faint. Isobella: I want to put a Hershey Kiss in it, I think that’s what you’ve got to do.

Tanteo Tropical Infused Tequila Jazmin: I taste the tropical, I do. You taste it and can see the palm trees. Jacquelyn: Do you feel like you’re on a beach naked? Oh, my god that is yummy! I’m going to have to write this one down. Isobella: I’m still getting used to this whole tequila thing! I don’t usually drink it.

Tanteo Jalapeno Infused Tequila Jacquelyn: Ew, jalapeno. I don’t like jalapenos — I’ll be gagging on this one. If it’s spicy, I’m going to be dying. I’m southern girl but I don’t like the spices. I will let you guys so first, I’m scared of this one. Isobella: It’s a little spicy, a little strong. You can put it on a taco, like as a sauce, I don’t know if I’d have it as a drink.

TY-KU Jacquelyn: I never had sake I didn’t like, and this is no different. Isobella: Sake’s sexy. It tastes like fishbowl water or something, it tastes weird. Jazmin: How do you know what fishbowl water tastes like? Isobella: It’s what I imagine it to be like — that warm, seaweed-y taste, and it’s easy to swallow. Jacquelyn: Is fishbowl water easy to swallow? I didn’t know! Isobella: Taste it again and tell me. Jacquelyn: I’ve never tasted fishbowl water. Jazmin: The sad thing is I know what you’re talking about. Isobella: See! My illustrator gets it. I give her a visual, and she gets it! Jacquelyn: This is good, it’s really my favorite. Isobella: It tastes like stale water just sitting there in the sun, I don’t know if I like it.

Hennessey Black Jacquelyn: It’s taking me back. Isobella: Where, to a scary night? Jacquelyn:To my college days. Isobella: It definitely tastes like something Grandpa would drink. Jazmin: This is a very masculine drink, like something my dad would drink. Isobella: When a guy orders this kind of drink I look at him like, “You’re just a cocky bastard because you just think you can pull this off.” Jazmin: My water’s gone.

Absolut Boston Isobella:Not my favorite thing. Jazmin: Me neither. Isobella: Absolut is probably the worst vodka out there. I had an experience where we really needed a mixer in college and we did it with, I want to say Gatorade or something like that, and it was so bad and messy on my floor in the morning. There’s something about Absolut I don’t like. But I love the Absolute ads! Jacquelyn: What kind of tea is this? It smells like black tea. That’s a really strong tea flavor. Isobella: Yeah, it tastes like someone put a lot of teabags in that shit. Jazmin: Someone had a big thing of vodka and they put in some tea. Isobella: I could make this! Jazmin: Get some Lipton Tea and some vodka. Isobella: This might be one of the best ones actually even though I hate Absolut.


Oxley Dry Gin Isobella: It smells like a flower. Jazmin: It does smell like a flower. Isobella: Smell it, smell it. I want this as a perfume! Let’s see how I feel in a minute. Jacquelyn: It’s strong, they’re tricking you! Isobella: Oh no! God no! I had the littlest taste on my lips! I can’t even take it, I’m sorry. I’ll have more of the fishbowl sake. I mean let’s bottle it up and put it on our bodies, but not drink it!

Partida Tequila Familia Isobella: It tastes like vanilla. What is it? Jacquelyn: It’s straight up tequila. Isobella:Look at you, done with yours already. Jacquelyn:I’m not done. Jazmin: This makes me happy. Isobella: It’s good but I want some dessert with it. You have this with cheesecake- Jacquelyn: Or tiramisu. Isobella: It’s like for a dessert. What was in this tequila?

Partida Elegante Isobella: Oh my god, this is bad. It’s like medicine. I like the other one better. I’d have like, a gallon of the other one in an IV before I have this, so gross.

Armand de Brignac Isobella: It smells like dog food! Jacquelyn: I like champagne, though. Jazmin: It’s a little bubbly — it’s actually very bubbly. Isobella: It’s champagne dude, just drink it. Jazmin: I feel really bad dissing this. Isobella: I do like champagne; it’s just a little dog foody. Jacquelyn: Dog foody? Fishbowl water? How do you know what these taste like!

image The girls hold up their favorites of the night.

BlackBook Staff Picks: Dining, Drinking, Shopping, & Staying

Here at BlackBook, we pay a lot of attention to where cool customers go out — bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, hotels, you name it. So why not flip the frame and let you see where we go out? Here’s a periodically updated, exhaustive list of hotspots currently favored by everyone at BlackBook, from the mighty bosses down to the humble interns, from the charming local lounges around the corner to the jet-setting temples of luxe living.

EDITORIAL ● Editorial Director/Editor-in-Chief – Ray Rogers, Café Mogador (NYC) – Hummus, crack-caliber coffee, and outdoor patio for primo people-judging and “novel writing.” ● Creative Director – Jason Daniels, Babettes (East Hampton) – Don’t let the word “organic” turn you off . ● Executive Editor – Chris Mohney, Pegu Club (NYC) – OCD cocktail heaven. Pith helmet and ivory cane optional. ● Senior Editor – Nick Haramis, The Jane Hotel and Ballroom (NYC) – Latest smash from Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode gets all Edwardian on the WVill.

● Editor-at-Large – James Servin, The Raleigh (Miami) – The local equivalent of LA’s Chateau Marmont. ● Staff Writer – Ryan Adams, Republic (NYC) – Minimalist fave and only vaguely communist, which is more fun than the full-bore thing. ● Writer-at-Large – Alison Powell, Wurstküche (LA) – Hey, sausages! Downtown hipsters with a secret inner-manly-man are pleased. ● West Coast Editor – Matt Diehl, Cole’s (LA) – The 100-year-old buffet-style cafeteria comes back as something new (but the French dip stays). ● Nightlife Correspondent – Steve Lewis, La Esquina (NYC) – Day and night, eating, meeting and playing. ● Paris Correspondent – Dana Thomas, Hemingway Bar at the Ritz Hotel (Paris) – Posh sips & historic ambiance at the Ritz. ● Assistant Editors – Ben Barna, Tokyo (Montreal) – Buy one for the buff bartender while you’re at it—he’s a starving actor. Cayte GrieveCafé Asean (NYC) Foster Ethan KamerLa Superior (NYC) – Quite possibly the best little taqueria this side of town. ● Editorial Assistant – Eiseley Tauginas, Alta (NYC) – Alta, as in “high,” as in “haute,” at this sexy Village tapas spot. ● Copy Editor – Michèle Filon, Sripraphai (NYC) ● Editorial Interns – Annie Clinton Moto (NYC) – High-flavor food with dungeon loos. Sure, Moto’s for metros, but it’s hot anyway. Delia Paunescu Schiller’s Liquor Bar (NYC) – McNally’s successful entrée into the LES mess. Desiree Pais, Lit (NYC) – Rock bar du jour for hos and bros of the ain’t we the shit? set. Alexandra Vickers, Colette (Paris) – Art, style, music, sex and water.

ART ● Art Director – Amy Steinhauser, Five Leaves (NYC) – Café posthumously funded by Heath Ledger does justice to the work and hype put into it. ● Photography Assistant – Stephanie Swanicke, Brandy Library (NYC) – Highbrow mixology, let us know when it’s time to dust off the antique bottles on the upper shelf. ● Design/Photo Interns – Angela Chen, Dinosaur BBQ (NYC) – Roadhouse bringing southerners to Northern Manhattan. Krista Quick – Ottobar (Baltimore) – What can we say, this place rocks.Jeremy Jones – Tokyo Bar, (NYC) – Schizo décor and food, but decently done all the same.

FASHION & BEAUTY ● Fashion Director-at-Large – Elizabeth Sulcer, China Grill (NYC) -Heaping plates of Asian fusion amid fashionable environs. ● Market Editor – Bryan Levandowski, Bondi Road (NYC) – Wizards of Aus in NYC, we like your style. ● Fashion Assistant – Wilson Mathews III, Per Se (NYC) – Advanced gastronomy at the Time Warner Center. Thomas Keller pulls out all the stops. ● Fashion Interns – Samantha Shaw, Chez Janou (Paris) – Boisterous southern bistro near the Place des Vosges. Julien Blanc, La Esquina (NYC) – Fairly authentic Mexican and one of the city’s best-known “secret” bars. Laura Watters, Café Habana (NYC) – Scarfing roast pork is so much better when Mary-Kate is watching, longingly. Lindsay Abrams, Sketch: Gallery (London) – Quirky soho hot spot. BlackBook magazine Founder – Evanly Schindler, The Smile (NYC) – Earnest Sewn owners take over abandoned Double Crown space for Med-inspired cafe/boutique.

BLACKBOOK MEDIA CORP ● Chairman – Bob Hoff, Guys & Dolls (LA) – Sophisticated sexy in West Hollywood. 7 nights a week. ● CEO – Ari Horowitz, L’Ecole (NYC) – Get schooled in fine French cuisine at this tasty training center. ● Associate Publisher – Brett Wagner, Café Select (NYC) – SoHo café marries Swiss Alpine to downtown design, garners Next Brunch Place status. ● Director of Finance and Operations – Joe Friedman, Lucky Strike Lanes (NYC) – Scenester bowling from the dudes behind Marquee and Tao. ● Corporate Counsel – Drew Patrick of Drew Patrick Law, Dutch Kills (NYC) – Modern-day antique saloon from New York’s cocktail kings. ● Executive Assistant – Bridgette Bek, Motorino (NYC) – Belgian-bred Mathieu Palombino’s Billyburg pizza joint serves up personal pan-sized genius, one pie at a time.

ADVERTISING ● Senior Account Executive – Dina Matar, Gascogne (NYC) – Southern French cooking without the Southern French ‘tude. ● Account Executive – Brian Kantor, Botanica (NYC) – Dive that must be working some kind of Santeria to keep prices down in this excessive nabe. ● Executive Director, BlackBook Access – Gregg Berger, La Piaggia (Miami) – Keep your feet in the sand and your hand on the rosé glass at this waterfront café francaise. ● Detroit Account Executives – Jeff Hannigan, Blind Tiger Ale House (NYC) – Beer bar institution finds new home, devoted crowd. Kristen von Bernthal, Pure Food and Wine (NYC) – Say goodbye to a future of pacemakers and a gut the shape of China. Raw food is real food. ● Midwest Account Executives – Susan Welter, Perennial (Chicago) – This could easily become Chicago’s summer hotspot for years to come. ● Andrea Forrester, Mirai (Chicago) – Thumpin’ music and bumpin’ elbows don’t deter crowds from gathering for some of the city’s finest sushi. ● Southwest Account Executive – Molly Ballantine, Gjelina (LA) – New Venice, new American hotspot takes on Hollywood posturing and tude. ● Northwest Account Executives – Catherine Hurley, 15 Romolo (San Francisco) – Bourbon & Branch without the passwords and financial types. Shawn O’Meara, Suppenküche (San Francisco) – Fun place, hearty food. Check the diet at the door. Sales Coordinator – Claire Pujol, Fat Baby (NYC) – Dank in a clean way. Do not enter without skinny jeans.

MARKETING ● Marketing Manager – Julie Fabricant, Kingswood (NYC) – Creative Aussie eats. Feel like king of the W. Vill woods. ● Partnerships & Promotions Manager – Andrew Berman, Bozu (NYC) – Sunken Japanese paradise. Delectable sushi, incredible drinks. ● Interns – Rebecca Hill, Chicago Brauhaus (Chicago) – One of the last of Chicago’s great German restaurants with live oompah bands and an Oktoberfest menu year-round. Delna Joshi, Hudson Terrace (NYC) – Rooftop pleaser for drunk summer afternoons. Brianne Murphy, Beauty Bar (NYC) – Kitschy theme bar serving up mani/drink combos under a row of hair dryers. Elizabeth Pirozzi, Pink Elephant (NYC) – Gangsters, models, and house. Where one goes, the others must follow. Monica Dybuncio, Cha Cha Cha (San Francisco) – The Haight’s never-ending Caribbean party where Santerias and sangria rule. Emily Pflug Presidio, Delfina (San Francisco) – Overly moussed males, technophiles, and high-class hipsters collide in this local fine dining favorite. Lea Abeyta, The Annex (NYC) – Grown-up newcomer from Dark Room boys. Tiswas Saturday, Interpol’s Paul B holding down Wednesday. Joanna Rubinstein, Bar Breton (NYC) – Fleur de Sel’s tastes of Brittany now available in brasserie form. Marie Baginski, East Andrews Cafe & Bar (Atlanta) – Label toters run amok at Buckhead restaurant-bar and pack the place on Thursdays and Fridays. Megan Kunecki, Blender Theater at Gramercy (NYC) -New indie rocker hosting artists you put on your iPod for show while you’re really listening to “Since U Been Gone” again. Jay Kassirer, The Smile (NYC) – Earnest Sewn owners take over abandoned Double Crown space for Med-inspired cafe/boutique. Suhee Eom, Momofuku Ssäm Bar (NYC) – Chef-of-the-minute David Chang fancies up Korean burritos and gets avant-garde after 6pm. Jaime Marie, Sueños (NYC) – Sweet dreams of organic tequila and make-your-own-tacos really can come true! Rana Razavi, Sanctuary (Miami) – Swank rooftop bar and the promise of hanky panky in the pool.

DIGITAL ● Director of Development – Daniel Murphy, Yerba Buena (NYC) – Petite hot zone with wide range of Pan-Latino small plates. ● Lead Architect – Matt Hackett, Beast (Brooklyn) – Small plates and top brunch, come get lost in Prospect Heights. Developer – Bastian Kuberek, Motor City Bar (NYC) – Front like you remember how to drive and these 8 Milers might let you hang. ● Developer – Dan Simon, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill (NYC) ● Designer – Matt Strmiska, Manuel’s (Austin) – Immaculate cleanliness, smart design, and Wine Spectator-designated mole don’t come cheap even for the downtown lunch crowd. ● Developer – Sam Withrow, Pacific Standard (NYC) – Mellow, big-hearted Slope pub keepin’ it pacific. ● Quality Assurance Engineer – Sunde Johnson, Stone Park Café (NYC) – White on white, Williams-Sonoma, Maclarens, fish sandwiches, and burgers. ● Mobile Developer – Otto Toth, Centolire (NYC) – Mangia, mangia, and then ride up and down in the funny glass elevator until the hostess kicks you out.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS ● Bob Hoff, Guys & Dolls (LA) – Sophisticated sexy in West Hollywood. 7 nights a week. ● Ari Horowitz, L’Ecole (NYC) – Get schooled in fine French cuisine at this tasty training center. ● Eric Gertler, SoHo House (NYC) – Members-only decadent den where you may find scruffy English rockers or snaggle-toothed English bankers. Guess which is more likely. ● Joe Landry, Local (LA) – Anything goes, as long as it’s not beef. ● Irwin Lieber, Fishtail by David Burke (NYC) – Fresh seafood in the UES by celeb chef David Burke. ● Dan Pelson, Marea (NYC) – Hopes for a high tide abound at Michael White’s temple to Italian seafood. ● Barry Rubenstein, Shun Lee Café (NYC) – Haute Chinese and dim sum on a glossy, ’80s-fabulous set. ● Jack Sullivan, Blue Ribbon (NYC) – Bromberg bros brasserie takes care of Soho’s after-midnight crowd.
Brian Wilson Tickets Capital One Bank Theatre at Westbury Tickets Westbury Tickets

Gramercy Park Hotel: Most Overpriced Drink in New York?

As someone with a roommate who tends bar at Dutch Kills, and another who works door at its West Village cousin Little Branch, I’ve been privileged to sample a lot of carefully concocted cocktails lately, filled with as much blood and sweat as they are with gin and orange bitters. These are precise, creative libations worth every penny of the $12 ($9 at Dutch Kills people!) you dole out. That’s why, when a bartender at the Roof Club of the Gramercy Park Hotel charged me $20 for a vodka soda , I wanted to spit up the beverage all over my nice clean boat shoes.

It was the other night, at Nick Cohen’s promotional thingamajig for his Upper Echelon Shoes collection — and it wasn’t $20, it was actually $19, but it stung like hell (especially because I ordered thinking the bar was open). My girlfriend ordered one too, bringing our total to $38. With our own eyes, we watched the bartender toss in some ice, pour an ounce or two of Grey Goose, and finish it off with a splash of soda and a wedge of lemon. When we found out the price, my girlfriend sheepishly asked if we could return them. We couldn’t. I understand it is my privilege to be amongst the beautiful set at the admittedly magical salon-like terrace, but dropping a twenty on a yawn of a cocktail is nothing but buzz murder. Rose Bar creative director Nur Khan was nearby when it went down, and I know he’s not (fully) responsible for this blasphemy, but I felt like going up to him, collapsing into his arms, and sobbing like a lost toddler at the mall. I ask of you, is this the most overpriced drink in the city? Here are some New York treats that are cheaper than the vodka soda at the Roof Club, and way more worth it.

The Queens Park Swizzle, Dutch Kills ($9). ● Cheeseburger, at The Spotted Pig ($17). ● Ramen, Momofuku Noodle Bar ($16). ● The Woody Allen sandwich, Carnegie Deli ($17.95). ● A pitcher of Blanche de Bruxelles Witbier, Radegast Hall & Biergarten ($18). ● Oaxaca Old-Fashioned, Death & Co ($13). ● Porchetta sandwich, Porchetta ($9). ● Kobe Beef Sashimi, Scarpetta ($16).

Dutch Kills Set to Open Tomorrow

Last month we told you that the new, very very much anticipated Long Island City speakeasy Dutch Kills was set to open in April. Well, technically, we were wrong. Last night, I got a mass text message from a very close source that read: “Dutch Kills, a new bar brought to you by the guys at Little Branch is opening Friday night, and I’ll be working the door Fri, Sat, Sun. Look sharp and bring ID. Come check the spot, it’s grade A! 5pm-2am.” We excite!