Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
This week, I discovered The Gilroy, a cocktail bar located on the Upper East Side. Yes, The Gilroy is not just a bar: it is close to a lounge that has this 1940s feel, perfect for dates or not so loud meet up (tradition: there is music, but not overly loud, so you can have a conversation, probably important if you are on a date, although sometimes you wish the music was louder...). The place is composed of three areas: the bar, the main room in the front of the bar, and the backroom that can also be used for private parties, and has this interesting setup for the DJ or any tired staff during closed hours.
When you look at the beverage menu at The Gilroy, you understand that it is not your regular bar, hence the designation as a cocktail bar; of course, you can get classic bar drinks like beers (also on tap), wine, etc. No, their cocktails, crafted by Bar Manager Harris Tooley, are definitely the star of the show and they like to call The Gilroy "their laboratory, where the bartenders are constantly working to come up with new recipes, wild ingredients, and flavors to please a crowd". For sure I could not not try their negronis, an apéritif made with gin, vermouth and campari (a bitter), and garnished with an orange peel, that is said to have been invented in Florence, Italy, in 1919, at Caffè Casoni, ex Caffè Giacosa, now called Caffè Cavalli. Count Camillo Negroni invented it by asking the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, to strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by adding gin rather than the normal soda water. The bartender also added an orange garnish rather than the typical lemon garnish of the Americano to signify that it was a different drink (source: Wikipedia). I got to try thee of them (and no, I did not drink all of it, just a bit):
The Old Pal, composed of Old Overholt Rye, Lillet Blanc, Dubonnet Rouge and Campari:
The Gilroy, made with Spring 44 gin, Punt es Mes (Italian Vermouth) and Campari:
The Old Oscar, a mixture of Larceny Bourbon, Averna (a bitter), Ancho Reyes (a Chile liqueur), Campari, Aztec Chocolate Bitters, probably the most bitter of the three cocktails.
The last bitter drink I tried was the Cynar, an artichoke based liqueur that I never heard of before.
The Gilroy has also other cocktails, such as The Sermon on the barrel, that won the 2016 Yorkville Cup. It is made of Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, Suze, Dubonnet Rouge, Benedictine and Wood Vinegar.
Of course, we could not forget the food, with a menu crafted by Executive Chef and owner Joseph D'Angelo. And they have a decent number of dishes that are perfect to share...or not...I think the best for sure were the sliders. I do not usually order sliders because they are often overcooked and dry. But these, served with cheddar, pickled onions and sriracha mayo were juicy. I just wished at that point that they were not sliders, but big burgers!
With it, I thought mac and cheese would be the perfect combination. Unfortunately, I did not really like that dish, as there was like an aftertaste. Too bad, because there was a lot of cheese (Asiago, Irish and Vermont Cheddar) and it was creamy.
A great dish was the cast iron citrus shrimp, served with Israeli couscous, roasted sun choke and spring onions. Inspired from Mediterranean cuisine, this was definitely an elegant dish that I would not have expected there. And I loved it, especially the shrimp that were of good size and were perfectly cooked.
A more classic dish is the burrata that seem to be now on every menu. A safe dish that is perfect for cheese lovers (I should mention that they have a selection of cheeses and salumi).
The last dish was one of the flats (flatbread): the homemade fennel sausage, accompanied by crushed tomatoes, spring onions and gruyere. I like it, being a bit apprehensive at first that the fennel would be overpowering, but it was not the case at all. This is a perfect dish to share.
Last was dessert. That had only one: the warm brownie, served with peanut butter and a homemade marshmallow. That was definitely a good way to end the evening: the brownie was delicious, moist and I loved the combination chocolate / peanut butter. This is for sure a dessert that represents Americana.
I had a good time at The Gilroy: the cocktails were very good, accompanied by some delicious food. I like the atmosphere there that make this place a perfect spot for a nice evening. Would I go back? Definitely: there are much more negronis on their menu that I can handle in one evening...
Enjoy (I did)!
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