Catch the latest POUR episode here! The Ship NYC (Manhattan) joins the ranks of dope bars like August Laura (Brooklyn) and Llama Inn (Brooklyn). Find out about the seductive mashup sipper, Julio Smash, and hear unbelievable stories on this episode and the rest on POUR.
Sure, New York City has lots of glitz and glam. Huge buildings and iconic attractions are among its characteristics, but NYC wouldn’t be what it is today, without its dreamers; those who take a chance to pursue their passions with reckless abandon – or those who live by ‘YOLO’ (You Only Live Once). For generations, New York has been built by go-getters and is full of those seeking their ultimate ‘American Dream.’
The same aspirations are true for Frankie Rodriguez and Alyssa Sartor, owners of August Laura, in Brooklyn. Bartending more than 20 years combined in New York City, the couple was blessed to open their ‘dream,’ befittingly located four blocks from where Alyssa’s grandfather (an Italian immigrant) grew up. Paying homage to her grandfather, the living room style bar has been named after him. The deep familial ties are undeniable at August Laura. Family pictures and home-goods are tastefully placed around the room, creating a cozy nightcap for all guests.
Tipples are elegant, intriguing, and satisfying, at the warm neighborhood cocktail bar. Each highlight the individual ingredients whether sweet, bitter, or savory and progress thoughtfully in spirit strength. The signature and nostalgic Amaretto Sour is seriously addictive. Alyssa’s recipe uses egg white and flavorful Nocino walnut liqueur, which adds sophistication and a seductive, creamy element to each sip. Shaved nutmeg heightens the senses and is the perfect garnish for the luscious drink.
The dedicated staff at August Laura pours sippers for patrons nightly, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, while listing to stellar playlists such as Sam Smith, 90s rap, and even a live jazz duo (every Wednesday night).
In its premier year, August Laura is making its imprint because Alyssa and Frankie dared to dream. Each time a customer enjoys their drink of choice, in essence, he or she raises a glass to couple’s surreal American Dream.
Want to know more about August Laura? Check the interview and how to make the buzz-worthy Amaretto Sour on POUR.
387 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Jazz on Wednesday evenings
Pop-up Weekend Brunch: Dovecote at August Laura – Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 3 pm (featuring La Colombe coffee, coffee cocktails, and local bakery goods)
The nostalgic Amaretto Sour at August Laura in Brooklyn, New York, is seriously addictive. Alyssa Sartor, co-owner, shares her recipe which uses egg white and flavorful Nicino walnut liqueur, which adds sophistication and a seductive, creamy element to each sip. Shaved nutmeg heightens the senses and is the perfect garnish for the luscious drink. Watch Alyssa create this delish drink.
– Courtesy of Alyssa Sartor, co-owner of August Laura
1 1/2 ounces amaretto
1/2 ounce Nocino walnut liqueur
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Ground nutmeg, for garnish
Yield: 1 drink
Separate the egg white from the yolk and add the egg white to a shaker.
Add the amaretto, Nocino, lemon juice and simple syrup and shake well.
Now, add ice to the shaker and shake again.
Strain into large coupe glass.
Dust with nutmeg.
It’s celebration season and Brennivin, the original Icelandic Spirit, marks the launch of its 80th Anniversary Cask Aged Aquavit. For the first time, this semisweet spirit is available in the United States.Only 1,200 out of 5,000 bottles may be purchased here for the holiday season.
The Aquavit is made from grain and infused with caraway seeds. Made from grain and infused with caraway seeds, the current batch was distilled in 2015, then matured for one year, aging within a combination of Islay Whiskey casks, bourbon barrels, and finished in New American White Oak. The result is a deliciously, smooth spirit which can be enjoyed on its own.
Licorice lovers have another reason to rejoice as Brennivin’s Opal Icelandic Liqueur recently made its première voyage to the U.S. The unique flavor profile is akin to Iceland’s beloved pasteille, a licorice-like candy. The unmistakable label echoes a groovy 1940s /1950s pop art bulls-eye design.
With such exclusivity to the Scandinavian sippers, there’s a handful of states which sell spirits (listed below). Howevery, if you are in or near New York City, you can head to the Up & Up Bar (116 Macdougal Street), the first U.S. bar to offer Brennivin. Imbibe on tipples such as the Icelandic Sense of Urgency crafted with honey, jalapeno and of course the 80th Anniversary Edition Brennivin or try the savory Visa Application made with both Brennivin exclusives, sherry and pear brandy. Cheers!
Brennivin 80th Anniversary Cask Aged Aquavit:
— 40% ABV
— Price: market to market
Opal Icelandic Liqueur:
— 40% ABV
— Price: around $35, 750ml bottle
Where to find Brennivin 80th Anniversary Cask Aged Aquavit and Opal Icelandic Liqueur (listed by state and merchant):
Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island—MS Walker
California—H. Mercer Imports, K&L Wines, Bar Keeper LA and Bitters & Bottles (SF)
Texas — Favorite Brands
Kentucky — River City Distributing
Colorado — European Wines & Spirits
Washington, DC — Sherry’s Wines
Washington State — Vinum Wines & Spirits
Alabama/Idaho/Montana/Oregon/Wyoming — State Special Order
Lynnette Marrero, co-beverage director of Brooklyn’s Llama Inn, shares the inspiration of the Flying Purple Pisco – a play on the traditional Pisco Sour and named after the Flying Purple People Eater. This refreshing libation features Peru’s infamous spirit, pisco, a grape brandy made in the country’s wine regions. It’s perfect for any season, celebration, and much needed happy-hour. Click here to learn how to make the Flying Purple Pisco.
Courtesy of Llama Inn.
Flying Purple Pisco Recipe
1 oz of Purple potato puree (with simple syrup mixed in*)
½ oz Lime juice
½ oz Lemon juice
2 oz Macchu Pichu Pisco
1 Egg white
Dry shake all ingredients together.
Add ice to ingredient mixture and shake again.
Strain into a low-ball glass
Top with a streak of Angostura bitters and grated nutmeg
*Simple Syrup Recipe
1 part water
1 part white granulated sugar
Simple syrup directions:
In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water.
Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved.
Adjust amount of sugar to desired taste.
Allow to cool.
A truly international and rustic cuisine, Peruvian food deserves more acclaim than it receives. Serving up a melting pot of cultural influences including Spanish, African and Incan, yield iconic dishes like ceviche and Escabache de Pescado (fried fish with onion sauce). Peruvian dishes often have bold, complex and vibrant flavor, incorporating ingredients like aji chili and sweet lucuma (a native fruit).
Flavors such as these are proudly served at Brooklyn’s Llama Inn. Don’t let its hipster vibe fool you – the ‘Llama Drama’ (referring to the buzzing atmosphere) is serious about delicious authentic eats, reflecting Chef Erik Ramirez’ favorite nostalgic meals. Chef Ramirez and his staff have done a wonderful job turning a social haven into a full-scale, epicurean, must-visit. One of the stand-out dishes is the Beef Tenderloin Stir Fry. This visually stunning dish matches its aesthetics in taste as it is a beautiful mountain of sliced tenderloin topped with red onion, rocoto (hot chili pepper) and French fries served with a side of avocado and scallion pancakes. The succulent beef is bathed in a luscious soy sauce, perfect for dipping fries or drizzled on a pancake burrito.
It’s difficult to go wrong at the Inn with so many exceptional selections including the refined octopus or spicy pork belly anticuchos (skewered meat). Whether a novice to Peru’s succulent fare or a native, Llama Inn is an unforgettable experience transporting diners’ taste buds to the motherland itself.
Hungry for more? Click here to watch the ‘Llama Drama’ in action on POUR featuring Llama Inn’s iconic Flying Purple Pisco cocktail.
50 Withers Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 11 am – 3:30 pm
Rooftop bar and dining space
If you live in the vicinity of Brooklyn’s eclectic Bushwick neighborhood, or even voyage over the water from Manhattan (gasp!) you know ‘Roberta’s’ and heavenly ‘pizza’ are synonymous. This beloved Brooklyn pizza is as popular as New York City’s legendary bagels. So light and incredibly flavorful, the dough stands up to heavy-hitting ingredients.
Known for its relaxed, funky ambiance that serves up decadent ingredients like Italian caciocavallo cheese and delicious spek, Roberta’s is a favorite of locals and beyond. Surrounded by refurbished, trendy warehouses, vintage clothing boutiques, and local watering holes, this hotspot contends with the most favored pizzerias in New York City.
The thoughtful selection of wine, cocktails and beer are well-rounded and have an emphasis on supporting local vendors. One such beverage, the Wölffer Rosé Cider from Long Island, is an exquisite cider made in the style of Rosé wine. Tip:this bubbly bev. beautifully complements the Duck Prosciutto appetizer.The unique prosciutto interpretation of using duck compared to traditional ham is brilliant and is deliciously paired with the cider.
Any cured meat begs for bread and Roberta’s perfectly baked bread – flaky outside while magically light and fluffy inside – doesn’t disappoint. Truly, all of the doughy treats: brunch sticky buns, biscuits, and croissants are equally as mouthwatering, lush and baked on the premises. No wonder guests visit in droves, waiting up to two hours for a table sometimes. Unfortunately, reservations are not taken, but calling ahead for the wait-time status doesn’t hurt.
Duck Prosciutto and Wölffer Rosé Cider
Every pizza is made to order and fired in a brick oven that greets guests upon arrival. Although it’s hard not to order one of each menu item, there are a few must-haves. I recommend the delectable Family Jewels pie topped with heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil and prosciutto bread crumbs. If toppings are your jam, try the Spekenwolf with a whopping 14 toppings, including crimini mushrooms, eggplant and ricotta salata.
Roberta’s isn’t a one-trick pony, though. Other entrées like the zesty Sasso Chicken with salsa verde or the addictive Dry-Aged Wagyu Carpaccio are also showstoppers. With an enticing menu, regulars are always thrilled to try something different each visit or enjoy their ‘usual’ as if it was the first time. There are so many exceptional restaurants in unexpected places in Brooklyn – and Roberta’s is no exception to this truth. The quirky pizzeria is also a bakery and tiki bar in the middle of industrial and auto repair lots. It’s obvious Roberta’s doesn’t fit any molds but breaks them instead.
261 Moore St.
Brooklyn, NY 11206
Manhattan outpost location: 230 Park in Midtown.
Roberta’s frozen pizza is available in select markets and online grocers.
Most would agree that food and art go hand-in-hand. The same goes for bad boy chef, Chris Santos, who uses the pair to inspire his newly opened restaurant, Vandal. He may be a no-nonsense judge on the Food Network’s hit show ‘Chopped,’ but this restaurateur/chef has a soft side for global street food and the artistic influence of cultures.
Located on the historic Bowery in New York’s lower east side (LES), the bi-level urban, chic space houses two bars and lounges including one in the cellar, a garden dining area, and private dining room. Chef Chris is a vet when it comes to the LES dining scene. With two successful and trendy dines, The Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex, Vandal is a welcomed new kid on the block.
The restaurant offers diners a world class experience of diverse small plates and tantalizing drinks while praising neighborhood and global art and architecture. When forming the concept, Chef says he wanted the “menu to be a culmination of inspiration from [his] life travels and includes nods to street fare from locations as varied as New York, Rome, Peru and Hong Kong.” As a result, dishes like snapper tostadas, lobster and sweet potato soup dumplings, Argentinian beef empanada and Chicken Katsu & Hong Kong egg waffles are served very evening to guests.
There’s a surge of buzz surrounding Vandal’s opening. No doubt the restaurant will see great success and yet, Chef Santos has more up his sleeves. Plans are slated for more restaurant project openings in Los Angeles and Las Vegas summer 2016.
199 Bowery, New York, NY 100002
‘Tis the season for comfort food. As always, it conjures up fond memories, awakens the taste buds and is super satisfying. We all have our go-to favs, but I’ve added different dish to my all-star list – phó – and Shanghi Shack serves up the real deal.
This shack is a local favorite among the NYU, Greenwhich Village crowds and phó lovers alike. No passport or long flight necessary to indulge in this pool of brothy love straight from the orient. Cozy up to a deep dish filled with noodles and grilled pork chop (or your choice of topping). Pick and choose from a spread of fresh lime, basil leaves and beansprouts to enhance the rich flavor of the phó. Or, settle down to the classic, plentiful báhn mì sandwich with Vietnamese ham, house bacon and paté. If you’re more of a vermicelli purist, pair it with tender grilled lemongrass chicken or seasoned soy. There’s a great selection of choices including vibrant salads and fresh juices, but don’t overlook the perfectly fried sweet potato fries with the addictive house mayo sauce – I promise you’ll want it sauce on everything!
As we turn to stews, casseroles, and roasted veggies this time of year, venture out and try a new type of home cooking. It may not be momma’s kind of fare but as long as it’s tasty and brings you to a happy place, she’ll approve.
114 MacDougle St.
Open for dining, pick up and take out orders