Thursday, October 29, 2009

Brandy Library

After Ayza, Michael took me down to TriBeCa to Brandy Library located at 25 N. Moore St. It's a great, upscale lounge whose menu could pass for a book. There are pages and pages of liquors from whiskey, brandy, rum, tequila, wine, beer, and cocktails.

This is where I let Michael do all of the ordering, since I generally stick to gin when I'm drinking anything harder than wine. He started us with two whiskeys, the Suntory Single Malt Whiskey 18 and the St. George Single Malt California 86 proof. The Suntory is a Japanese whiskey for those of you who share my limited knowledge of fine liquor. It's dark amber colored, very smooth, complex, and absolutely divine. The St. George is a young whiskey and in my opinion out of balance. The first thing I noticed was the taste of ethanol. Being a scientist and associating the smell of pure alcohol with clinical uses made drinking that one a little less than pleasant for me. I like certain young wines, but this young whiskey has some growing up to do before I return to it.

At this point the waiter came over with a plate of treats for us, on the house. The treats were candied orange peel, tiny meringues flavored in orange and lime, and shortbread cookies that I happily relinquished to Michael. The easiest was to my happy little heart is sweets, so Brandy Library immediately endeared itself to me. And it only got better from there.

After the whiskey, we moved on to brandy. The two we tried were the Gonzales Bypass Lepanto, Solera Gran Reserva Oloroso Viejo and the Martell XO Extra Fine. The Oloroso was definitely my favorite of the two, but the Martell was perfectly pleasant. These drinks lead me to the conclusion that I prefer brandy to whiskey.

After the brandy, the waiter brought us another complimentary dessert. This time they were miniature creme brulees with raspberries. The first plate of sweets was enough to make me like the place, but now I was in heaven. Anywhere that fuels my sugar high gets a gold star in my book. Brandy Library gets two.

Finally we finished the night with rum selected by our waiter. One was Jamaican and the other Venezualan, and although I read the label, I cannot for the life of me remember what they were called. I had reached the end of my ability to continue tasting at this point. I'm not a big woman and I know when one more drink will be one too many and I was there. But I do remember that both rums were delicious, although, again, I reached the conclusion that I prefered the brandy.

I think the nicest thing about Brandy Library, besides their attempts at putting me into a sugar coma, is the ambience. It's dimly lit, with bookshelves lining the walls. Only the shelves hold bottles rather than books. And they're backlit so the room glows a bit. The chairs are big and comfortable and they have couches that can be shared. We were lucky enough to be seated at a couch. Jazz music plays softly in the background and conversation is always hushed, so the room feels intimate and decadent. And the staff is knowledgable, and attentive without being pushy.

If you like good sipping liquor and are in the mood to feel a little hedonistic, head over to Brandy Library. Reservations are recommended, according to the website, although, if you're like us and go on a random week night, the chances of being able to walk in are much better. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

(photo courtesy of Brandy Library website).

1 comment:

  1. "I like certain young wines, but this young whiskey has some growing up to do before I return to it."

    Hah, nice turn of phrase. Chocolate, brandy, couches: that place sounds so pleasant.