THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION

The Porchlight is (Almost) On

The Porchlight is (Almost) On

When you walk into the Union Square Hospitality Group’s first standalone bar, Porchlight, the first thing you will feel is welcome. You have to think in the future tense right now, because Porchlight won’t open until Monday, March 2. After that, you’ll probably want to allow a few days for things to calm down. There will be the Danny Meyer fan base and the followers of fabulous bartenders from such places as Booker and Dax (That’d be the lean firebrand, Nicholas Bennett), bloggers eager to try to put their verbal mark on the place and foodies who have to be among the first through any door.

Give it a beat. Let anticipation build. It’s okay. Porchlight is worth the wait.

Is it also worth the trek to 11th Avenue and 28th Street, against a river-chilled winter wind? You betcha! Although, you’ll probably find it more seductive once mild temperatures come and you’re taking a break from a river stroll or looking for something to do after exploring the Highline or the Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking District.

Even in the single-digit cold, Porchlight is a warm – not just in terms of temperatures – place to meet friends before a concert or game at Madison Square Garden, or when you’re heading to or from an event at Chelsea Piers.

What will you be drinking? Maybe something spicy, maybe something smooth, maybe something blue.

Behind the Mule takes the ginger of the traditional mule and brings it up a few levels. With George Dickel White Dog, a spark from house-made ginger, tang from lime and raspberry vinegar and a sweet New York snap of Katz’s Rock & Rye, Behind the Mule leaves a dangerously thirst-inducing aftertaste.

With Mescal Vida at its base, Gun Metal Blue is anything but a shallow flash in the glass. Peach brandy, lime and cinnamon round it out – but the contrast between the blue curacao and the flamed orange garnish (floating bright side up, like a sunny island in an fathomless, still blue sea) will wake your senses before you lift your glass for a sniff and a sip.

With all of the new goods (New York Distilling, Laird’s Jersey Lightning), Black Dirt apple brandy . . .), Porchlight knows how to bow to tradition. The house Sazerac features, not all-American rye, but Louis Royer cognac. Herbsaint and the NOLA’s mandatory Peychaud’s bitters will make this familiar to a contemporary admirer of all things Sazerac, but cognac? That’s where Sazeracs began, so sit back and sip a little history.

There’s thought behind every detail, from the Rittenhouse in the New York Sour to the house-made cola in the Whiskey & Cola. The Stay All Night has Tito’s, Amaro CioCiaro – a bartender’s beloved – peach preserves, lemon and black tea. If your favorite cocktail isn’t on the menu, then one of the bartenders – Bennett, the wide-grinning Mimi Burnham or one of their colleagues – will make the drink of your choosing, just the way you desire it. Maybe better.

Beers, wines, homemade sodas, “free-spirited” (alcohol-free) concoctions and an amply stocked bar are there for the admiring, conversing and drinking.

If you have questions about anything from menu items to a book on the door-side shelves, then ask. Every staff member has gone through hours and days and weeks of training, so Porchlight is starting with that bonded-team feeling. The crew knows the bar, the menu, the hospitality and every strength that each member has to offer. You’d expect this from a family-owned local bar that has been open for generations, but you’ll find it at Porchlight from day one.

Jean-Paul Bourgeois, Blue Smoke’s creative and texture-happy executive chef, has hold of the kitchen reins at Porchlight. Bites and bar snacks are built to quench your appetite and stimulate your thirst. Must-try items include warm bourbon bar nuts, sugar and spice popcorn, the thick-as-your-fingers smoky beef jerky, oyster shooters with pickled pepper and okra, avocado and crab toast, boiled peanut hummus and jalapeño cheddar cornbread.

The décor is clean, simple and comfortable. The designers took full advantage of the big corner space: large windows, high ceilings, stripped white walls, comfortable seating, nooks and banquettes and communal areas. You could spend a lot of time here and be very happy you did.

For a self-proclaimed bar with a Southern accent, Porchlight looks set to speak a style of Southern comfort that is uniquely its own.

Porchlight; 271 11th Ave.; 212-981-6188

Photos (Interior, Gun Metal Blue and Sazerac) by Andrew Kist


Tags: Cocktails, Food, Spirits
Recent Articles

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Napa Valley is Running a Christmas-Themed Wine Train to the 'North Pole' For the Holidays

Napa Valley is Running a Christmas-Themed Wine Train to the 'North Pole' For the Holidays

If you've ever wanted to travel to the North Pole for the holidays, you can - but you have to get to the Napa ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Nov 6, 2017
Brace Yourself: A Wine Shortage is Imminent

Brace Yourself: A Wine Shortage is Imminent

Europe is bracing for the lowest wine yield in decades, dropping 14% from 2016....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Nov 6, 2017
Delta is Now Serving Complimentary Prosecco on Select Flights

Delta is Now Serving Complimentary Prosecco on Select Flights

Delta Airlines is now serving complimentary prosecco on all of its international flights, including to coach customers....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Nov 6, 2017
SPONSORED
A Rare Sam Adams Beer, Utopia, Is Being Released

A Rare Sam Adams Beer, Utopia, Is Being Released

Sam Adams has released their biennial Utopias beer, a barrel aged ale that is illegal in 12 states due to its high alcohol content....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Oct 31, 2017
A Canadian Man is Suing an Airline for a Ridiculous Champagne-Related Reason

A Canadian Man is Suing an Airline for a Ridiculous Champagne-Related Reason

This Canadian man has sued an airline for a champagne-related reason you won't believe....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Oct 31, 2017
Chocolate Red Wine is Here, Just in Time for Winter

Chocolate Red Wine is Here, Just in Time for Winter

Winter is officially coming, and one U.K. winery has created a chocolate red wine to keep you warm and cozy all season long....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Oct 31, 2017
This Chicago Bar is Dressing Up as Moe's Tavern for Halloween

This Chicago Bar is Dressing Up as Moe's Tavern for Halloween

Bar and arcade Replay, in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, is getting into the Halloween spirit by dressing up as Moe's Tavern, the iconic dive bar f...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Oct 24, 2017
Brewer's Association Launches $213 Billion Campaign to Buy AB InBev

Brewer's Association Launches $213 Billion Campaign to Buy AB InBev

The organization is looking to raise two-hundred and thirteen billion dollars in order to buy out Anheuser-Bus...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Oct 24, 2017
Anheuser-Busch Is Donating 480,000 Cans of Drinking Water to Puerto Rico and California

Anheuser-Busch Is Donating 480,000 Cans of Drinking Water to Puerto Rico and California

In the wake of the catastrophes in both Puerto Rico and Northern California, Anheuser-Busch is responding by s...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Oct 17, 2017
Gin Pong is Here to Class Up Your Next Soiree

Gin Pong is Here to Class Up Your Next Soiree

Gin pong is here, just in time for the holidays....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Oct 17, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close