Where She Won: Evening Bar and Westlight; New York City, NY. Inside the Smyth hotel, Evening Bar pairs chef Andrew Carmellini’s vegetable-driven menu at Little Park with its own seasonal cocktail menu, like The Harley, made with a house-infused Cimarron tequila and white peach puree. At Westlight, her new rooftop bar in the William Vale hotel, Robinson will mix whimsical, al fresco-style cocktails.
Favorite bar in the world (besides your own)?
The Sevens on Charles Street in Boston. It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve been away from home, whenever I walk into The Sevens, someone shouts “Hey Annie!” and I feel so comfy and cared about. They only serve wine and beer, so I sit with an oatmeal stout, watch the regulars play darts and admire James the cook’s bracelets.
Favorite guilty pleasure drink?
Shots of Fireball (an intense whiskey-based liqueur) on a super-late Friday night at Niagara in Manhattan’s East Village.
On the difference between the bar programs at Evening Bar and Westlight:
Evening Bar is very much a dark, intimate, even sexy environment, while Westlight is more open, bright, and playful, so I found myself focusing on making a menu that reflected that feel. Instead of plays on boozy fireside sippers, Westlight will feature fun rooftop-friendly cocktails inspired by root beer floats, shandies and tiki classics.
What makes a good bartender?
A great barback.
The coolest cocktail name you’ve ever come up with?
“Stoop Kid” was one that got many comments from guests at Evening Bar. They all thought it was named after a character on Hey Arnold!, but I’ve never seen that show. Really, it was named after a friend of mine and our bad habit of ending evenings out in the wee hours by sitting on a stranger’s stoop with beers wrapped in paper bags.