The city’s current Golden Age of cocktails continues to be inspired by the past. Drinking by today’s standards requires a high tolerance and a local history lesson. It also provides a great excuse to play dress-up.
The better part of Wednesday's Dining section in the New York Times was given to their coverage of so-called winter drinks. But instead of toddies and warmers they talked instead about rum, though not the hot and buttered kind that would seem appropriate for this time of year. Rather it was aged rum in a tasting column by E Asimov and an article on the revival of rum-based tiki cocktails puncturing the mustachioed seriousness of the hardcore bartending set.
Yesterday, there was some big news. And it was amazing.
The news was that Smuggler's Cove, Martin Cate's new Tiki bar is set to open to the public on December 8 in the old Jade Bar space.
Why was the news amazing? Because that date is pretty much right on the target that he set for himself when he announced the new project back in June. How often does that happen? If Cate's bar is run in nearly as orderly and well-planned a fashion as its conception and execution, it should be a very successful place.
While we're all anxiously awaiting the opening of Martin Cate's new Tiki shrine (an announcement about the imminent opening is due, Cate tells me, next week), we can perhaps get a preview of what's to come at an unlikely place. Next Monday, the 9th, Jardinère, bastion of fine dining in the Symphony District (SyDi?), is putting on its grass skirt and putting Cate behind the stick as guest bartender. Cate says he will be making “three typically obscure and esoteric vintage tropical drinks that will be magically delicious!”
As interesting as Cate's drinks, perhaps, will be the food to go with it. Tiki cuisine has never been exactly exalted in gastronomic circles, so it will be interesting to see what Jardinère's accomplished kitchen team can do with it in a prix-fixe format.