Well, I had planned on hitting 600 bars by the end of June and I did it so I figured I would take today off. And what would the Bar Man do on his day off? Why visit one of his favorite bars, Pete’s Waterfront Ale House (Home of Warm Beer, Lousy Food, & Ugly Owner), just a couple of blocks from where I live on Atlantic Avenue. I have been here before so it doesn’t count, but I thought I would take a picture and post it. Unfortunately they are doing work on the building so it is covered in scaffolding and I couldn’t get a good shot. Another time perhaps. I did settle down to a bowl of free popcorn from their popcorn machine and had a couple of interesting beers from their extensive selection. I started with a draft Six Points Bengali Tiger I.P.A. that was nice and hoppy, dark, and very flavorful. That was followed up by a Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale. This is from Heather Ale LTD in Scotland. It was quite dark and thick and did have a distinct elderberry flavor, but not in any way cloying or sweet. I liked it and would have it again. It would be a great after-dinner drink.
By the time I finished with my two beers it was a bit after six so I figured I would mosey on down the street a bit to a bar I have been wanting to try but that doesn’t open until after 6:00 P.M. so I have missed it on my daily wanderings. I guess it wasn’t really a holiday afterall.
Down Atlantic Avenue to Hoyt and then make a left to 81 Hoyt. This is a fairly small place and during the summer there are a few chairs in front, but you can’t bring your drink out there, no sidewalk café license. This is a neat place with a well-broken-in look to it. The bar has a dark wood top and kind of a paneled front. No bar rail or foot rest though. Brown wooden bar stools with square seats. The cement floor looks like it would be more at home in a parking garage and the wall behind the bar is kind of an industrial poured cement. Jackson Pollack like paintings on brown butcher paper (remind me to tell you why butcher paper is brown someday – it has to do with Egyptian mummies) hang on the wall not just behind the bar but on other walls as well. Glass shelves hold the liquor and there are a couple of narrow mirrors.
On the front wall between the windows is a yellow cement fireplace with a stack of split wood piled above it next to another abstract painting done in a different style. A large hoop light fixture hangs from the ceiling of exposed beams. The light fixture has a lot of cone-shaped lights hanging from it. Nice soft looking red banquettes line the back wall.
The two bartenders, Trini and Jackie were very friendly.
Jackie was experimenting with making a plum flavored vodka and playing chess with one of the customers at the end of the bar while paying attention to the needs of the customers at the bar. She also has very large angel wings tattooed on her back (I kid you not). The crowd was very friendly too and I chatted with a couple of them. One was looking for an apartment in what is now becoming an increasingly cool neighborhood. There is a move afoot to start calling it BoCoCa (BOerum Hill, CObble Hill, CArrol Gardens). Jeez, I hope not. Particularly when Kili is actually in Downtown Brooklyn, and that is a cool enough name. Whoever came up with the name DUMBO for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass should be shot.
I had a Perfect Maker’s Mark Manhattan, up. It was quite good after I convinced Jackie to put in a few drops of Angustora Bitters. To Kili’s credit, they did have bitters on hand. I am not sure where the reluctance to use bitters comes from, but it is quite common. And yet so many recipes call for it, including almost all recipes for Manhattans.
More than you probably ever wanted to know about Manhattans:
Samuel J. Tilden was elected Governor of New York in 1874, and to celebrate, socialite Jenny Jerome threw a party at the Manhattan Club in New York City. Jerome asked the bartender to create a drink for the occasion. The bartender mixed 1 1/2 ounces bourbon, 1 1/4 ounces each of sweet and dry vermouth, and a dash of bitters. It met with Jerome’s approval and she named the drink the "Manhattan," after the club. Jenny Jerome later earned her place in history as she later became Lady Randolph Churchill, the mother of Sir Winston Churchill.
Over the years, much like the Martini, the amount of vermouth has been reduced but, and this is important, the bitters should never be left out. A dash of Angostura or orange bitters is key to the unique taste of a Manhattan
Anyway, I had but one new bar to add to my list but it was a nice bar and near to where I live so I will be back when time permits.
Up to 602 for the year and that leaves 398 to go. Bar Man is heading to New Jersey for the July 4th weekend and to celebrate a couple of birthdays so I don't know how many, if any, bars I will hit until I return. If I do hit any I will post them on Tuesday, July 5th.