>> 6/5/11

349 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 274-0667

Until just now, I never knew the pure joy that comes from double-fisting a bespoke coffee and a artisinal cocktail. And now I do. I wonder, will my life ever be the same? Indeed there are few real cocktail bars where you can arrive alone and not feel like a hobo drifting into town long enough for the next freight train to Saskatchewan to come through. Hell, there are few real cocktail bars that know, or even bother to find out, how to brew a halfway decent cup of joe. So filling that void is The Randolph at Broome.

The Randolph at Broome is both a coffee bar for serious coffee people and a cocktail bar for serious cocktail people. Some people sit on the sofa, some with laptops. I sat at one of their booths and did a little paperwork, alternating between a very heavy cup of coffee and a delightfully bitter rye-based concoction.

I've been to The Randolph a couple of times with a couple of people, so don't think that what I drank were all mine and all from just one visit. The Old Roman: rye whiskey, Aperol, blood orange bitters, sour cherries and a twist of rind. One of my favorites, but I also like whiskey and Aperol. Think of the Old Roman as a Manhattan with a twist. The Part & Parcel: St. Germaine, sugar, lime juice and grapefruit juice. Sadly, I forgot to note the main ingredient, which I think was vodka (a cocktail bar rarity). And alas, it's not on the menu anymore because it was simply and utterly fantastic. The World's Best Dad: a hot coffee cocktail with apple brandy and sweet vermouth. For anyone who thinks that this would be a weak drink, it's time for a correction. This drink is strong. Strong dark coffee, strong brandy. It'll wake you up and then put you to bed all in one go. It's a black russian with some balls. The Texas Porch Sipper: vodka, honey, muddled blackberries, mint and lemon. A tangy instead of sour mojito (basically a blackberry mojito) with a sweetness softened by using honey instead of sugar. The Old College Try: Rum, almond syrup, citrus and chocolate bitters. Creamy and pleasant, (like a creamsickle on coke) but too sweet for my taste and too heavy on the almond. Most cocktail menus don't have tequila drinks so I was pleased to find one here. El Pepino Fresco: Tequila, St. Germaine, cucumber and citrus bitters. It's sweet, but not numbingly so, thanks to the dose of the bitters.

Cocktails aside, The Randolph also does coffee, and if the woman from Seattle chatting up the bartender/barista is any indication, then they do it well. But it's strong. This isn't coffee for the faint of heart and if you think that Starbucks is dark, then you ain't seen nothing yet. If you ask for milk, they will measure out a jigger's worth and it will vanish into the black void of your mug, barely causing a dent in its color. And the coffees aren't cheap. They come either French pressed or pour-over. My French-pressed cup ran $4. Coffee service ends at 4:30pm.

The cocktails cost $14 after 8pm. From noon to 8pm it's happy hour and they only cost $7.

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