Greg Seider, author of 'Alchemy In A Glass,' is a New York-based cocktail maestro. He opened The Summit Bar, which New York Magazine named Best Cocktail Bar, and he co-owns the Manhattan Cricket Club. He also created the cocktail program for the lounge at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Bernadin. In this Q&A he lets us in on his favorite New York hangouts for spirits, oysters, pizza, wheatgrass and a little romance. What else is there?
Q: It’s Friday late afternoon. A long work week is just about over. What’s the perfect place to go to unwind with a cocktail?
Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out on a Friday night in NYC and why?
Behind the bar at one of my spots. The other side of the bar is great protection from the weekend madness. Plus, I never have to wait for a drink.
Q: Describe an unforgettable Saturday in NYC.
Love cruising through the city on my bike. It's like a video game avoiding all the obstacles. Meet a beautiful woman from out of town. Fall in love. Maybe ride out to Hometown Bar-B-Que in RedHook around noon when the brisket is right out of the smoker. Hit Lucali for an epic pizza and calzone early evening. Blue Ribbon later on for oysters raw bar and champagne. Or hopefully going to Yankee Stadium to watch the Red Sox crush the Yankees. Then jump on a plane and do it all over again with that very woman in another country.
Q: What’s your favorite secret weekend spot in NYC that most people don’t know about?
The Easter Bunny has an amazing secret invisible lair in the middle of the Hudson River. Great fishing!
Q: What’s the last “only in NYC” weekend experience you had?
Sitting at my friend's bar, Extra Fancy in Williamsburg, a woman I was sitting next to asked me, Where do I know you from? After some back and forth we found out we were sitting next to each other doing an Ayahuasca ceremony at a mutual friends apartment in Brooklyn.
Q: What's the best Sunday brunch spot in the city?
No brunch. Wait to later in afternoon when everyone is sleeping off their boozer brunch and now I can find a nice spot to relax and enjoy. I like Murray's Cheese Bar. There is a cheesemonger named Galen -- she is a little wacky in a good way but really knows her cheese pairings.
Q: Any Sunday rituals to get ready for the week ahead/prolong that weekend feeling a little longer?
Hitting the Russian & Turkish baths for a steam and plunge.
Q: What’s your favorite weekend nature spot and why do you love it?
If I'm uptown, it's Central Park. If I'm way uptown, the New York Botanical Garden, in The Bronx.
Q: What’s the first song on your weekend playlist?
"Dream On," Aerosmith.
Q: What’s your go-to weekend splurge?
Loading up on delicious meats from the Union Square Farmers Market. Lamb, duck, steaks, beef tongue, beef heart, bone marrow -- they have it all.
Q: Where’s your favorite coffee shop?
No coffee for me. I like a double shot of wheatgrass from the Union Square Grassman. That's a real jump starter.
Q: What’s your favorite late late night place for drinks?
For me, if it's ever late late, you will find me at Blue Ribbon on Sullivan Street.