Louis Royer Cocktails: COGNAC for the Holidays

When the days start cooling down, there’s nothing better than a warm sip of cognac. Louis Royer’s Force 53 stands up to cocktail immersion, lending an elegant, weighty presence. Bartenders, like Claire Needham seen here, experimented with a broad range of ingredients, from ginger to Dubonnet. Use this roundup as inspiration for all your holiday get togethers.
above: Red Light District by Claire Needham of The Beagle
Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac, Cocchi Americano Rosa, Pimms No. 1, Ardbeg Scotch
above: Forced Start by Jeremy Oertel of Soho Grand
Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac, Lustau Amontillado Sherry, Lime Juice, Cinnamon Syrup, Ginger Syrup topped with freshly grated nutmeg
above: La Pomme Rouge by Jaime Rios of The Standard
Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac, Dubonnet Rouge, Lemon Juice, Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider with a sprinkling of fennel seeds
above: Monks Force by Raphael Reyes of the Experimental Cocktail Club
Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac, Elixir Chartreuse, Grapefruit Combier, Fresh Lemon Juice, Green Jasmine Tea with a rimmer of coconut sugar
above: Orchard in Manhattan by Sother Teague of Amar y Amargo
Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac, Cocchi Americano, Apple Brandy, Becherovka, Bar Keep Apple Bitters
above: The Big Sleep by Robert Krueger of Extra Fancy
Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac, Punt e Mes, Cointreau Noir
above: The Goodfellow Cocktail by Nicholas Bennett of Booker and Dax
Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac, Apricot Eau de Vie, Fresh Lemon Juice, Honey Syrup, Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters
above: Cocktail de Ruche by Jason Cousins of Mondrian Soho
Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac, Barenjager Honey Liqueur, Lavender French Honey, Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch Whisky, Bittermens New England Spiced Cranberry Bitters garnished with fresh cranberries and rolled orange peel
above: A Little Boom Boom by Christian Sanders of Evelyn Drinkery
Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac, Bonal Apertif, Lustau San Emililio Pedro Jimenez, White Burgundy, Hella Citrus Bitters
above: Bishop’s Wife by Joshua Perez of Middle Branch
Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac, Brancy Menta, Demerara Syrup, Water
above: The Wayside by Pamela Wiznitzer of The Dead Rabbit
Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac, Lemon Juice, Honey Water, Chai Tea, Dolin Sweet Vermouth


Best Bites Fall 2013: Louro

Louro Restaurant: Chef David Santos’ Monkfish with Red Bliss Potatoes, Chorizo, Calamari, Ragu. All the dishes experienced on our visit were creative, fresh, and made with love. Planning to go back and experience a Nossa-Mesa-Supper-Club-themed dinner. See the schedule on the website.

Best Bites Fall 2013: County

The new chef at County, Jan Feshan, is creating superlative bites, including these sliders on the brunch menu. Cute addition to Flatiron.

Best Bites Fall 2013: Trattoria Il Mulino

At Il Mulino’s new location in Flatiron: This was available on the specials menu: Mixed Seafood and Vegetables in a Squid Ink sauce. Awesome. Hope they bring it back.

Best Bites Fall 2013: East Pole

Couldn’t resist ordering the Scotch Egg appetizer at East Pole—brought me back to my travels in Edinburgh. Be forewarned, though, when this place is at capacity it is quite noisy.

Best Bites Fall 2013: Grace Gaelic Hospitality

Grace: Murray Hill has a new amazing REAL Irish pub with distinctive food and spectacular cocktails created by an all-female mixologist team. Best bar bites to accompany sips, hands down. So far I have tried the super Crispy Lamb Meatballs accompanied by Tzatziki and Salsa Verde. On different visit enjoyed the Fried Oyster Sliders on Sesame Profiteroles with Cucumber Slaw and Tartar. It’s a tie between these two... Kitchen open till 2am. A welcome addition to the area.

Best Bites Fall 2013: Hecho en Dumbo

Hecho en Dumbo: Really excellent chips accompanied the fantastic guacamole. Definitely get this when you visit.


Gastronomic Portugal: B & B Casa Rosada

I’ve just come back from an amazing trip, a reunion with London buddies at their B & B in the Algarve. I expected it to be great, but was nearly overwhelmed by all the culinary and scenic delights! Rupert Kirby and Andrew Roberts, once immersed in the magazine world, have transported their hipness and created a utopia in an unspoiled part of Portugal that has so much to offer. Their space features over-sized pristine bedroooms, luxurious baths, and a backyard that is a vacation in itself. The week started off with a tasting menu by Rupert, with lovely Portuguese wines and ports to sip (see details in the photos below). I was totally wowed. Turns out it was only the tip of the iceberg, as I was escorted to all the best places around. Posts to follow: an extended late lunch at Cha com Agua Salgada off the beach; a visit to Sal Marim, where I harvested a batch of pure white flakey salt; pure local grilled flavors at Dom Petisco; and a spectacular Italian tasting menu dinner at Amore Vero in Tavira. It’s a little sad to be back in NYC and not steps from the beach. See all the photos from the trip on my Facebook page at this link. And check out the blog for Casa Rosada for creative recipes.

Gastronomic Portugal: Cha com Agua Salgada

Cha com Agua Salgada was advertised to me as “modern” Portuguese cuisine, in addition to being near the beach. That’s an understatement. When we arrived, I was delighted to see a cool modern building with an open dining area just behind the dunes—a study in cool. It pays to know the owners, Sandra  and Paolo, who treated us to items not on that day’s menu, like Rupert and Andrew’s favorite, the Octopus Carpaccio. This dish, and each one thereafter, arrived as works of art (see photos below) and were light and flavorful, perfect for dining on the beach. The loveliest part of the experience was that we were situated in a non-touristy area, making it even more of a treasure. This trip was loaded with nice surprises, as you will see in the following posts. See all the photos from the trip on my Facebook page at this link.