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Oh fall, the time of year when the foliage decreases and the breeze increases and the only way to make this all easier is with season flavored adult beverages. Between a stroll (er stumble) around the park, snuggling up on the couch (a.k.a. passing out) and afternoon football games (watching, not playing... let's be honest, you're not that healthy), all you want to do is down a pumpkin flavored beer or a delicious bourbon cocktail.
Lucky for you, Matt Levine (owner of LES hotspots like Eldridge and Son's of Essex) confirms his understanding with the amazing, fresh cocktails he offers at his new vintage piano lounge, The Handy Liquor Bar.
Named after the 1800's New Orleans native and first expert barman in the US, Thomas Handy, the lounge can be frequented Monday through Wednesday from 5pm until 2am, 5pm to 4am Thursday and Friday as well as noon to 2am on the weekend. If you plan on attending after 11pm on the weekend however, only the lucky few with a password will be admitted.
Though this may sound pretentious, the friendly staff makes this speak-easy style lounge anything but. Wood-paneled walls fashioned with shelves full of leather-bound books, and a beautiful chessboard table, make it easy to relax in the pillows of the grand couch. Lounge in front of the roaring fire while enjoying the sounds of old Mickey Blue eyes, Stevie Wonder, and other great jazz, funk and Motown tunes that flip through the jukebox. On Friday nights, snuggle up with a loved one (or stranger…) and listen to the sounds emerging from the 1950's Wurltizer baby grand piano or from the four-piece band that plays on Saturdays.
Don't let the ambiance make you forget why you are there though; grab one of their unique cocktails, like a Dirty Bird (Wild Turkey rare breed, cynar, fresh pressed cucumber juice and fresh pressed lemon juice), or the Smalls Gimlet (Stoli Elit, Fresh Grapefruit juice, house smoked jalapeno syrup, fresh limeade, topped with a black sea salt rim). If you really want to appreciate the scene, try "America's First Cocktail", the Sazerac Cocktail, which Handy invented.
Feeling a bit tipsy? Just ask for a Warm Black Truffle and Gruyer Tea Sandwich with pomme frites, or the Local Sea Bream Ceviche, with potato chips; both prepared upstairs, at the delicious Chalk Point Kitchen.
No matter what you chose, you'll stumble out feeling much happier (and warmer) about the fall.
By Amanda Blum
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