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After a day of post-Thankgiving art viewing and shopping, Brian, Jeff and I escaped the hubbub of Manhattan and ventured out to Long Island City in Queens to Dutch Kills. The minute I walked in the door, I knew this was my kind of place.
The spacious bar has deep, dark wooden booths, with a menu attached to the wall reminding me of those individual juke boxes in your booth at family friendly restaurants of a couple decades ago. We went in past the booths to discover the fabulous little bar complete with vintage phone and cash register—I definitely felt like I was in another time, in a good way. It was nostalgic without being specific, although supposedly 1890s saloon is what I should be thinking.
Before we get to the drinks, let me answer the name question—what does Dutch Kills mean? The bar takes its name from the neighborhood in which it resides. The native inhabitants called it Canapaukah (“bear’s watering hole”) after the Newton Creek, a distinguishing feature of the area. Dutch settlers arrived in the early 1640s; their word for creek, was, you guessed it, kill. The area would become known as Dutch Kills–the perfect place for a fabulous watering hole.
We enjoyed quite a few menu options, and our bartender, Matt, also graciously and skillfully indulged our requests to go off menu. He even convinced me that it was time to cross the Stinger off my list of 100 must drink cocktails. I fully admit I was a bit hesitant—cognac and crème de menthe, can you blame me? But Matt was right, it’s a nice combination of warm and cool. Something great to sip during the holidays.
The creation of bartending masterminds Richard Boccato and Sasha Petraske, this place’s drink menu and bartenders’ attention to quality and detail, and their ability to execute delicious cocktails is outstanding. Here’s one of the many deliciously unique creations Matt stirred for us.
1 ¾ oz gin
1 oz Cocchi Americano
¼ oz apricot liquer
couple dashes Dandelion & Burdock bitters (by Adam Elmegirab, Scotland)
If I lived in NYC, I think I would quickly be on a first name basis at this place. Cheers!