The drinking is looking kinda interesting at the Maialino, the hot, vowel-heavy Italian restaurant near Union Square. The quirky, irresistible Nebbiolo Bar, set up by wine director Liz Nicholson, would be enough to draw in any curious drinker. It offers expressions of the red grape (best known as the raw material of Barolo and Barbaresco) from seven major growing areas in Italy and using different forms of vinification, including a sparkling, white, rose, and even an amarone-style wine.
But now Nicholson has some competition from Kevin Denton, manager at the Gramercy Park Hotel Roof Club & Garden, who has put together a trio of intriguing cocktail options for the restaurant. Showing he's hip to the barrel-aged cocktail trend, Denton is offering Oak-Aged Martinez (Tom Gin, Sweet Vermouth and Maraschino). There's a seductive sounding spin on a classic in the Smoked Fig Old Fashioned, made of smoked fig-infused Rye whiskey and tobacco bitters. And, finally, there's an opportunity to experiment. An imbiber can match house-made root, birch and ginger beers with the spirit of their choice.
A smart, and nicely short, list.