This is your friendly neighborhood Buzzed Assassin reporting in on my recent adventures (misadventures?) at the Stone Street Tavern. Arriving just in time for Sunday brunch, I delighted in being just in time for more adventures in the Bloody Mary badlands of a place known as Stone Street. Now Stone Street, for those not in the know, is a pedestrian only street lined with restaurants, cafes and bars in the Financial District of lower Manhattan. A favorite among i-bankers, analysts, consultants, lawyers and staff that work in the area, it manages to be a nice place in spite of, well, all the i-bankers. And just as a side note for all you curious types, if you’re really lucky, on Thursday evenings in the spring and summer, you can witness one of nature’s most beautiful scenes: the descent of a tribe of majestic hunters, with sprayed-on outfits, bleached hair and teeth, heels higher than the laws of physics really should allow and only one goal (and only one prey) in mind, wealthy financial types to snag, score and turn into delightfully sweet sugar daddies. Quite breathtaking it is, and even more so when you mentally narrate the exchange with the voice of Sir David Attenborough. But anyway…
Upon entering the tavern, my companion and I were quickly led to a table and given food and cocktail menus. Knowing well before I sat down what I was going to eat (I can always tell an Eggs Benedict day), I focused on the cocktails. This particular establishment had a bit of a deal going: buy one bloody mary or mimosa and get your second one free. A very good deal considering the current economic climate, but would it be a good deal for your discerning cocktail man-about-town?
The short answer is maybe. As you can tell from the pic, the Bloody looked fairly, well, average. The only visual item of note was the olive skewered through by a bamboo cocktail pick shaped roughly like a rapier. Deciding to engage another of my senses, I began to drink. My first sip brought a healthy burn to the rear sections of my tongue and throat, a sign of a healthy dash of hot sauce, not horseradish (a first in my admittedly short history as a Bloody Mary enjoyer/fan/critic). A bit of mixing managed to somewhat calm the burn, but I was still left with a rather overwhelming heat. As for the rest of the drink, all I can say is “meh.” The tomato juice tasted absolutely ordinary, if watered down (I couldn’t tell if this was caused by the ice melting or if the juice came out of the container this way). The vodka pour was rather weak. And other than the hot sauce, the flavor of the whole thing was rather insubstantial with no taste that stuck around long enough to be truly savored. All in all, a truly meh cocktail.
So how to rate the effort? I feel that perhaps I have been spoiled in that the Drunken Tomato herself has been my guide in the Bloody Mary world. She has noted my relative inexperience here and has guided me to places that would treat me well, serving good efforts that allow me to truly understand what a great drink the Bloody is. However, my admittedly short history as a Bloody Mary taster/student/critic notwithstanding, this is not the Assassin’s first time around the spirits block. In the wide world of cocktails, there are those that are meant to be sublime experiences, and there are those that are meant to hit you in the mouth like an Anderson Silva elbow strike. Most cocktails lie between these two extremes. I see the typical Bloody as leaning towards the stronger side, as you might expect, with its strong ingredients. But it should have a taste that properly balances the tomato, the spiciness and the vodka, allowing each to give your palate a good hit without being unbalanced. Stone Street Tavern’s effort, however, was just plain weak. It could have been worse, but that is hardly high praise. So, in the end, was the two for one deal worth it? To put it in perspective, for my free cocktail, I got a mimosa.
For their Bloody Mary effort, Stone Street Tavern gets Two Celery Stalks.
Stone Street Tavern. 52 Stone Street, New York City, NY 10004. P: (212) 785-5658.