© Daniel Krieger/Eater.com
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.