NOLA’s making a welcomed appearance to the UES with the opening of Infirmary. From what I have tried so far, this place is really spot on. I already can’t wait to head back. Don’t live in the area? The drinks and gumbo are definitely worth making a trip to check out.
I was on my way to meet a group of friends at one of my regular dive bars and the lit up bottles of liquor at Infirmary caught my eye as I walked by. After grabbing a few drinks at said dive bar, we broke up the group and I headed to check out Infirmary, which was pretty packed for what I would find out was only its second night open. We managed to land some seats at the bar and the INCREDIBLY friendly and unpretentious bartender named James, who has a slight twang to his words, also doubled as the owner. He put up with my incessant questions, which shows you that he is a man of patience, and will gladly educate you on anything on the menu. James lived in New Orleans for 25 years and left because of Katrina. I would say he’s doing pretty well in NYC right now. Ladies, I hear he’s taken, so you can look, but you can’t touch.
We ordered a few different drinks to test out. There was a Jameson on the rocks and a Macallan 12 because some of us are set in our ways.
And then we also ordered:
Classic: Sazerac rye whiskey, sugar, Herbsaint (an anise-flavored liquor) and bitters
Pin Up Girl: Russian Standard vodka, Luxardo maraschino cherry liquor, St. Germain elderflower liquor, cranberry, lemon, crème de violette and one more ingredient that slips my memory.
Rags to Roses: Four Roses bourbon Framboise liquor, lemon juice, Xanté liquor (a pear liquor), rose water and egg white foam.
These cocktails were absolutely delicious. You can tell that James understands mixology and takes pride in what is being served.
On a side note, the Xanté liquor in the Rag to Roses will be replaced by a rhubarb liquor, which I think will give the cocktail a nice bite.
Do they have food? They do and it makes me laugh a little because they make their food in such a tiny space behind the bar and I was just expecting something simple to tide me over till I got home, but they ended up putting a bowl of gumbo in front of us that that tasted like perfect comfort food at first bite. It was hot (temperature wise), was so flavorful and there was a nice level of spicy heat to it. Their full food menu will be showing up within the next two weeks and I can’t wait to see what they have to offer.
Infirmary doesn’t have a website up right now, but check them out on Facebook.