I’m pretty picky when it comes to cocktails, hence my go-to drink of choice being a cracking cold white. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone into a NYC bar or restaurant with hopes to change this…ordering one of the fancy $14 cocktails off the menu, only to take a sip and be exceptionally disappointed. I’m setting the stage, you see. Because when I heard that the Upper East Side’s craft-cocktail bar, The Gilroy, was THE place to go for a cocktail, I was all “bring it on!” Fully expecting to take a sip, scrunch my nose up, slide it across the table for my husband to finish off, and order my boring but delicious Sauvignon Blanc.
But guys! That didn’t happen! I chatted with the waitress for a while about my liquor likes and dislikes, my preferred sweetness levels, cocktails I have enjoyed in the past, and she said she’d be back with the perfect drink. I was skeptical, until Captain Redbeard’s Punch arrived, filled with Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Velvet Falernum, EO Grenadine, Lime, Pineapple, and Nutmeg. Frothy, easy on the tastebuds, and beautifully presented, I not only finished the whole thing myself, but then went on to order another cocktail: the Irish Penicillin, concocted with Powers Irish Whiskey, Honey, Lemon, Ginger, and Connemara Peated Irish Whiskey. Forget Hot Toddy’s–I’m going right to the Irish Penicillin next time I come down with a cold. Unbelievably delicious.
If you don’t see what you’re craving on the cocktail menu, the bartenders are happy to create bespoke cocktails on the spot, using various liqueurs, infusions, tinctures, bitters, and syrups, customizing a unique drink to the mood and tastes of a customer at a particular moment in time. Gold stars all around, I truly can’t praise the bartenders of The Gilroy enough!
And what better to go with cocktails than a bit of noshing! My hubby went protein heavy with the Angus Sliders and Tuna Tartare, and I went carbs all the way with the Wild Mushroom Flatbread topped with plenty of goat cheese and truffle oil and the Irish and Vermont mac-n-cheese, finished off with Asiago. With its speakeasy vibe and 1940’s aesthetic, The Gilroy is the perfect UES spot to come for a romantic date, night out with the girls, or even alone for a treat yo’self Tuesday. Cheers, NYC!
Details: The Gilroy is located at 1561 Second Avenue, 212-744-1100. Hours of operation: Open everyday 5PM-4AM. Specials offered during happy hour (5PM-7PM) include discounts on beers and a selection of cocktails, including one special feature created each week. Weather permitting, there is al fresco seating for 28.