Archive for January 20, 2014

Our last Bloody Mary was had at the historic Algonquin Hotel, a New York—and literary—landmark.

From literary gatherings and cabaret singers to the creation of the New Yorker magazine, many movers and shakers have graced the halls of the hotel for over 100 years (it opened in 1902). 

Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. John Barrymore. Gertrude Stein. SImone de Beauvoir. Helen Hayes. Erica Jones. Maya Angelou. Sinclar Lewis. Derek Walcott. William Faulkner. They’ve all added to the mystique that is the Algonquin.

Throw in a Round Table and a resident cat and you’ve got a spot which just radiates with creative energies.

We sat in the Algonquin Lobby (there is also a Blue Bar and Round Table Restaurant). Here, I indulged in my most expensive drink of the trip—a $20 Bloody Mary.

Mix: Homemade; per the menu: Svedka, tomato juice, lemon juice, worcestershire and tobasco

Chaser: No (spoiler alert—none of the NYC bars offered a chaser)

Fixin’s: Three olives, two lemons, celery


This Bloody Mary had decent flavor, but definitely wasn’t worth the price; however, I knew I was paying more for the atmosphere (and maybe Matilda’s litter and food?) than anything else. 

But that’s okay, that’s one of the things you do when you’re in New York. Besides, the company was excellent. Next time I’m here (and there will be a next time), I’ll try a signature cocktail, like the Matilda.

Before taking in an amazing performance of Once the Musical we dined at Joe Allen, a Broadway staple since 1965.

I had a Bloody Mary with dinner (shocker, I know). Pictured below is the drink, along with the front of the restaurant’s menu, a map of the theatre district.

Joe Allen is very cool place with (again) a great vibe, and great food. Their Bloody Mary, however, left something to be desired:

Mix: Homemade.

Chaser: No (spoiler alert—none of the NYC bars offered a chaser)

Fixin’s: Two olives, one lime


This is a great place to go before or after a show, but choose another drink and you won’t be disappointed!

Tony Di Napoli

Posted: January 20, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Looking for good late night dining, we headed to Tony Di Napoli in Times Square, a great family-style Italian restaurant.

The portions were humongous— I shared a pasta dish with a friend and when we both could not stomach another bite, it looked like we hadn’t even touched the platter.

Of course, I ordered a Bloody Mary. (When in Rome! I mean, Times Square!)

The stats:

Mix: Homemade.

Chaser: No (spoiler alert—none of the NYC bars offered a chaser)

Fixin’s: One olive, one lemon


This Bloody wasn’t anything special, pretty standard, even compared to some other New York Bloodies. Go here with a group for some great food, but order wine with your meal instead.

While in Greenwich Village, we enjoyed an amazing dinner at Commerce Restaurant.

As with many places in New York, the building at 50 Commerce Street was once a beloved speakeasy during Prohibition. The historic site is now an upscale, contemporary restaurant. It’s beautifully appointed and has been renovated to include several murals, a 1941 Brunswick bar, and black walnut tables and chestnut booths.

The contemporary American menu has Italian, French and Asian accents.

I ordered the brussels sprouts salad to start, followed by the short rib ravioli and birthday cake for dessert.

Of course, I had to inquire about their Bloody Mary. Our waiter, Ben (who was awesome, by the way—Happy Birthday!), seemed a little hesitant as he informed me that it was “a little like gazpacho” since it was made from scratch.

This may have turned off some folks, but for me, this made me more anxious to try it.

And it. Was. Fabulous!


Many of the other establishments I visited on this East Coast swing were based on recommendations for a great Bloody. Our visit to Commerce was based on a recommendation for a great dining experience—my favorite Bloody Mary (so far) in New York was discovered where I least expected it. 

Mix: Made from scratch, like down to the tomatoes scratch.

Chaser: No (spoiler alert—none of the NYC bars offered a chaser)

Fixin’s: One olive, one lime.


I highly recommend visiting Commerce when you’re in New York. Beautiful restaurant, fantastic food and a terrific experience all around. And yes, give the Bloody a try!

We headed over to renowned Packers bar, Kettle of Fish, in Greenwich Village.

I couldn’t help thinking that a Packers bar might have a Bloody Mary up to Wisconsin standards… no such luck.


Mix: Made from scratch.

Chaser: No (spoiler alert—none of the NYC bars offered a chaser)

Fixin’s: One lonely lime.


This Bloody Mary was flavorful, but severely lacking in “fixin’s”-no olives were harmed in the making of this beverage!

The bar itself was very cool, a very relaxed, homey feel (it even had a little “den” set up with couches/TVs for football watching) and the staff was the friendliest of any place we visited on our trip (what else would you expect from a bar with a Wisconsinite owner?).

And not just a Wisconsinite owner… Patrick Daley was working at the bar the day we stopped in; we got to talking and I found out he used to live less than 6 blocks from where I currently reside. Small world!

We also discussed Bloody Marys. I tried convincing him that he ought to bring Wisconsin-style Bloodies to the Kettle, that there would be a market for it, that he would stand out even more. He said he had tried that in the past, hosting a build your own type of bar as a special in the past, but there really wasn’t a market for it. Hmmm… I’m not sure. I’d give it another go if I was him, but maybe that’s just me. 😉

Thanks so much to the staff for their kindness on a rainy Tuesday evening. We’ll be back!

We also heard good things about Tipsy Parson in Chelsea.

We love, love, loved the decor in this tiny establishment that you’d almost miss walking by it on the street. So quaint and charming.

This Bloody Mary was served in a cute mason jar and was very tasty. However, we must warn you—garlic was the predominant spice used here, for sure!

Mix: Made from scratch.

Chaser: No (spoiler alert—none of the NYC bars offered a chaser)

Fixin’s: Two olives, one lime


We recognize New York prices are in effect for all beverages (no $4 Steny’s specials here!), but this one was on the higher side for the amount included in the glass.

Next, we moved on to sample the Bloody Marys at a couple of places in Chelsea. First stop? The Cookshop.

Again, a place that came highly recommended, so I was excited to try their version of our favorite drink.

Mix: Made from scratch.

Chaser: No (spoiler alert—none of the NYC bars offered a chaser)

Fixin’s: Two olives, one lemon


This Bloody Mary was light and refreshing. The salted rim (with worcestershire sauce, I was told) was a nice touch. Again, because this Bloody Mary came so highly recommended, I was expecting something a bit more. And again, we have unique standards in Wisconsin. However, this was very flavorful and the menu here is fantastic. Definitely give it a go for brunch or lunch if you’re in the area.

While in Brooklyn, we also stopped down the street from Clover Club to visit Char No. 4. Char No. 4 is a “whiskey bar & restaurant with a passion for bourbon” and hence, their Bloody Mary was made with—you guessed it—bourbon (which makes it a “Bloody Derby” for those of you scoring at home). 

Mix: Made from scratch with Very Old Barton Bourbon in place of vodka.

Chaser: No (spoiler alert—none of the NYC bars offered a chaser)

Fixin’s: Pickled Carrot


Now this is a unique New York Bloody Mary. I loved the flavor of this beverage. I described it as a cross between an Old Fashioned and Bloody Mary, but in a good way.

As with Clover Club and the rest of Smith Street, the vibe in Char No. 4 was also great—low key with a buzz of trendiness and excitement in the air. Definitely stop here if you get the chance.

Last week, I had the opportunity to sample several Bloody Marys on a trip to the Big Apple.

My first stop? Clover Club in Brooklyn.



I had done my homework before my trip and Clover Club came highly recommended. Here are the stats:

Mix: Made from scratch with Aylesbury Duck Vodka.

Chaser: No (spoiler alert—none of the NYC bars offered a chaser)

Fixin’s: Olive, Lemon


The flavor of this drink was very good and the bartender was very kind; we had a great discussion about Bloody Marys and he even pointed me in the direction of other Bloodys I should try while I was in town.

I really liked the feel of this establishment as well, but I wasn’t sure that this Bloody was anything extra-special. I guess I’m really spoiled in Wisconsin. Next!