If there's one thing I can't stand, it's bloggers who find a need to breathlessly post about the brand newest, most hottest places that the rest of we mere mortals haven't even figured out have opened. That's the game of the blog to many, I suppose. But not me. However, I did want to let you know about two just opened spots in the neighborhood that I got to peek into last night.
Last week, I received a breathless email from Thrillist...one of the major perpetrators of what I mention above, though I'm sure they don't consider themselves a blog (for one thing, they make money). That email stated, in part:
For a father-son team kicking barstaraunt ass, check out L'Oubli... In addition to standards, cocktail specials'll also rotate in threes (one original, one modern, one classic), with opening night exhibiting the absinthe & champagne Death in the Afternoon (classic), the modern Grand Marnier Smash (titular liquor w/ lemon & sugar), and an original blend of corn whiskey/mezcal/Averna topped w/ white pepper & root beer they call the Movie Theatre Classic, a potent mix helpful for anyone attempting to watch classics like Dersu Uzala.
Now, I'm both a fan of cheeky emails and Dersu Uzala, so off I went. L'Oubli isn't fully opened yet - no food and a limited cocktail menu. Good looking space at the northernmost end of Suffolk Street. Unfortunately, the Movie Theatre Classic wasn't on the cocktail board - but a Black Manhattan was...consisting of bourbon, sweet vermouth, Averna and bitters. Brave soul that I am, I ordered one. I like Manhattans. I drink my fair share of them. Mostly rye based, because I like the spiciness that rye whiskey brings to the party. So maybe that's why this drink didn't knock my socks off. Or maybe it was the Averna. Or maybe...oh, who knows? Ben, the tender/owner, is a helluva nice guy. We talked bourbon and rye and he plans on bringing lots of brown booze to Suffolk St. I'm sure the place will be packed - it has that vibe. I only hope/wish they:
A. will use jiggers
B. make my cocktail colder
C. never make 2 drinks in the same mixing glass
That's all. And I'm looking forward to trying the food.
After a cocktail, a bite was needed. I'd heard from The Lo-Down that a new ramen joint had opened on Ludlow, and the next thing you know, there I was. Was the fact that there was only 1 customer inside intimidating? Was the fact that the 1 customer was actually one of the employees or an owner intimidating? No way.
Ramen Kuidouraku has opened in the old Chickie Pig's space, which used to house a Jewish burial society (no kidding), and was there ever a lousier name for a restaurant? Actually, this is the second branch of Ramen Kuidouraku, the first one being at 141 1st Avenue, which used to be Ramen Setagaya...and this whole ramen thing is getting too confusing for me. The Ludlow St. version appears as if it will also have a sushi bar; the aforementioned employee/owner was actually working on the cold case after finishing his dinner. It's BYOB for now, with $1 & $2 corkage fees on beer (a first!) depending on bottle size, and $5 for wine - bring a Methuselah and see what they say. I ordered sho-yu tsukemen, cold noodles with a soy based dipping sauce, and they were okay, if a little lukewarm. My oshinko was pedestrian, nothing I couldn't cut up at home after purchasing the pickles at Sunrise. It'll probably last longer than Chickies, but why?
I think tonight, when Significant Eater gets back to New York, I'll make Manhattans. Maybe have some dinner waiting. And the latest hot spot? Let's just leave that to some other blogger.