Thirsty? Social Butterfly? Looking for a Scene?
Our Island is home to countless venues that boast cocktail menus and ambiances that nod to chic hotspots around the world. Frequenting these haunts lets you sample from the world market without participating in any would-be currency wars. We asked some of our favorite drinkers, who happen to also be world travelers, where they romp when at home. Their answers range from common to eclectic to bizarre (the latter of which we omitted). Drink internationally. Drink socially. Drink respectfully.
*Note: Sampling fare at any of these places is also strongly encouraged.
Café Buenos Aires
Wall St, Huntington
Argentine to the core, replete with extensive indigenous wine list, leather and wood accoutrements, mirrors, soccer on the TV and yes, authentic Tango dancers on Friday and Saturday nights—join them.
Bond St, Great Neck
Thai, Japanese, Chinese and other touches influence this unique, elegant setting with lots of private little corners to spend intimate moments, or just hang at the bar and sample their “exotic island drinks.”
Madame Tong’s Redeux
Elm St, Southampton
The v.2 of this sexy Asian Fusion spot can call itself whatever it wants, it is in fact a beautiful, opulent red and gold backdrop for anyone wanting to sample Chinese high culture. But diehards looking for a “true Asian libation” would have better luck elsewhere.
Two Steak & Sushi Den
Union Tpke, New Hyde Park
Japanese, reinvented, and redefining the larger-than-life joie de vivre of the celebrated country. Featuring pages of beer, wine, champagne, sherry and after dinner drinks. Looking for authenticity? Sake and shochu are front and center, as are cocktails like Den of Iniquity, Wandering Poet and The Storm. Who needs the steak or sushi?
Franklin Ave, Garden City
So many bier on the menu, you could spend every Tuesday and Thursday sampling every hue of ale, pilsner, saison, chouffes and regional specialty without repeating before they changed the offering. This is where you learn to love beer (see Italian to learn how to pair it with food).
Main St, Patchogue
Colombians are known for many things, but get to know the divine sangria at this family run establishment. Sangria, plus their signature flan, is a festive, steamy night even in winter.
There are truly too many bistros to choose from: Barrique (Babylon), Cassis (Huntington, Plainview) and Citron (Roslyn), Pierre’s (Bridgehampton), Sage (Bellmore)…find the one you love (with the closest drive home) and go often. Even the most abbreviated offerings by the glass will give you plenty to choose from. Cozy up to one of those little tables and indulge. Don’t forget the bread and pâté.
Bellmore Ave, Bellmore
Any place where Gisela greets you in the dining room and Dieter has run of the kitchen has got to be authentic German. How else can you tell? The décor for one. The wood paneled everything for second. Quaint? To say the least.
Northern Blvd, Roslyn
Elegant, sophisticated and none-too-girlie, this crisp Euro-chic spot features a number of Greek wines by the glass and many more by the bottle in addition to after dinner drinks and cocktails.
If you don’t have your favorite by now, we can’t help you. Hint: The place you found just after you got your first real job. If you really want to know, we like Reese’s 1900—authentic, local, close to the office in
Patchogue Village and no corny over-the-top stuff.
Main St, Stony Brook Village
Three words: Imported Craft Beer. As if the fantastic no-wrong-turns menu isn’t enough, they serve craft beer ranging in taste and artisan quality (and prices up to $30). This is where you learn to pair beer with food (see Belgian to learn how to love it).
Northport Tasting Room
Main St, Northport
Ok, not a nationality, but better, a state of mind. Live musicians (yes, very good ones) accompany an extensive wine list from everywhere—including places like Croatia and Morocco. Order in from a variety of local eateries to complete the thought. They also offer craft beer for those looking to expand horizons. Oh! And the wine cellar is open for your shopping convenience. Who says you can’t take it with you?
Have you ever sampled the sublime taste of Mezcal? How about Extra Añejo? This is your chance: Besito is bringing them direct to you, live in a rustic, authentic, elegant Mexican setting. Cervezas, vino and other “bebidas” (cocktails) accompany copious tequilas for “shooting, sipping and savouring.”
Main St, Port Washington
Regal reds and deep luxurious hues are part of Tava’s trademark, old world meets new elegance. Like the home country, Tava is a crossroads of Mediterranean Brasserie and American restaurant.
Bring the Bar Home
Exclusively for Her (shoot to kill if he picks one up):
Girlie Martini Cocktail Recipe
1 splash dry vermouth
4 oz vodka
3 oz chilled champagne
1 dash maraschino liqueur
100 ml Southern Comfort
100 ml Drambuie
500 ml Guinness Stout
Great with almost any meal, especially after a long day:
3 parts gin
1 part sake
A splash of bitters
Stir all the ingredients together in a mixing glass. Strain the mixture into a glass and serve.
1 1/2 oz Scotch whisky
1 oz Stone’s green ginger wine
Liquid Mad Men—Old Fashioneds, Two Ways
(depending on what type of guy you are)
3 dashes bitters
1 tsp water
1 sugar cube
3 oz bourbon whiskey
1 slice orange
1 maraschino cherry
In an old-fashioned glass, muddle the bitters and water into the sugar cube, using the back of a teaspoon. Almost fill the glass with ice cubes and add the bourbon. Garnish with the orange slice and the cherry. Serve with a swizzle stick in old-fashioned glass.
3 oz brandy
4 dashes Angostura® bitters
1 tsp sugar
1 dash water
Muddle the sugar with the bitters and the water in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass. Add the brandy and some ice cubes. Stir, garnish with a lemon peel and serve in old-fashioned glass.