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NYC's New Cocktail Kings

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Dutch Kills

© Daniel Krieger/Eater.com
Dutch Kills

Usually my colleague Kate Krader's the one obsessing about cocktails. This time, however, I was the one who (uncharacteristically) decided she and I immediately needed to go to Dutch Kills, a new bar co-owned by hitmaker Sasha Petraske (NYC's Milk & Honey, Little Branch, etc.), located on an industrial stretch of Long Island City, Queens. Of course when we got there Kate took over: She recognized a bunch of staffers from her favorite cocktail haunts, like bartender Jane Danger of PDT. (She's the inventor of the notorious Danger Tots—Tater Tots loaded with cheese, bacon and guacamole. The recipe's in F&W's just-out Cocktails 2009.) And Kate told me that all the bext mixologists in town "worship" co-owner Richard Boccato, who enlisted his mother to sew curtains for the tall-backed wooden booths he built himself. The space is long and dark, cozy in the front and cavernous in the back where there's a chandelier dangling from the ceiling, sawdust on the floor and a pair of pianos against the walls. (I thought they'd be perfect for a round of dueling pianos—Richie agreed.) The short, monthly-changing, Queens-themed, historically-reverent cocktail menu is already known for its reasonable prices: $9 a drink. We got the Steinway Punch (circa 1933), a delicious and citrusy rye-whiskey concoction poured over a chisel-like piece of ice, and a Queens Park Swizzle (circa 1920), which looks a little like a Sno-Kone but tastes like a fabulous, not-too-sweet mojito. Then we congratulated ourselves (well, I congratulated myself) on discovering a great new place.

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