I’m not one of those people who always knows the newest hidden bar or the most up-and-coming clubs and lounges, but I do like a good drink and I do like to ingest it in a bar that boasts a great atmosphere. I don’t feature many bars here on Food E. but this one is worth mentioning, so while I’m on an “I Love Queens” kick, I’ll share.
Dutch Kills 27-24 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens, NY. Dutch Kills is owned by the same guys who own Milk and Honey and Painkiller in Manhattan. The bar is modeled after the speakeasies of the 1920s, so it’s “hidden” and it’s really word of mouth that gets people in the door. The cocktails are hand crafted and served with hand-cut blocks of ice (large chunks of ice melt slower in your drink), or candied ginger, or pickled cucumber, or another little bit of heaven you won’t find at your local Tonic. If you don’t see anything on their seasonal menu that tickles your fancy, you can tell the bartenders what types of drinks you usually enjoy and they’ll create something especially for you. You could veritably go to Dutch Kills every night and drink something new each time.
Not that I’ve tried or anything… I’m not alcoholic. I’m NOT.
Anyway… on my last visit I enjoyed a Gin Fizzie, which was perfect for the blistering heat. During the winter they make an incredible whiskey ginger with fresh ginger that’ll put hair on your chest. Unless you’re a lady. And then that’s just gross.
The interior is dimly lit, with dark mahogany surfaces, and an old school piano perched over saw dust in the back. If you’re ever wandering around the back alleys of Long Island City, try opening the door labeled “BAR.” You could get lucky.*
*Or you could get mugged. Make sure you’re opening the correct door, people.