Phillip Casaceli could be a character right out of Seinfeld.
The Gates native owns Daddy-O, a neighborhood bar in the West Village that Grubstreet.com and Time Out New York have lauded as being among the best whiskey bars in New York City. The bar at 44 Bedford St. also does well with both classic and creative cocktails; its herbaceous mojito was featured in a segment of the Food Network show The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
Two very different types of tipplers gather at this Village bar: those seeking PBR by the can, and those requiring a superb selection of Scotch (more than 30 single-malts, including the 15-year-old Islay Bruichladdich). Get there early to claim a snug corner leather booth or a table, and curb late-night hunger pangs with a top-notch burger (served until 4am).
It’s easy to become cynical about bars in a city where every neighborhood has its own expertly branded nouveau speakeasy. It is impossible to be cynical at Daddy-O. There is no branding to speak of here. The glassware is not special. There is a television. The television plays hockey games. And yet, Daddy-O’s enthusiasm for spirits — especially whisky — rivals, and bests, far more obnoxious establishments. The written tome spans 500 hand-picked bottles, with not even a hint of pretension. You will not be up-charged for a pour of something trendy. You will not be side-eyed for ordering a whiskey soda. Instead, you’re free to flip through the book, order a pour of something novel — say, a hard-to-find Compass Box blend — or something you’ve never tried before, something you’re curious about. There is no snobbery or pressure or blond wood or fake library books. You get to drink whiskey without any other bother or distraction. This shouldn’t be a rare thing. But it is, and that’s why Daddy-O takes the cake. That and the tater tots.
This West Village bar is popular with chefs, perhaps because it gets the comfort basics so right, like the dry aged burger and the pitch perfect Buffalo style wings. Sure, the menu also includes sweet and sour honey mustard, and dry-rubbed iterations. But the Buffalo-style wings are so faithful that we can’t resist them. Six wings for $9.
Daddy-O is neither a two-bit saloon nor a dive; call it a bit-and-a-half saloon. It’s got the work ethic of a dive—it’s open until 4:00 A.M., without fail, and the kitchen accepts orders until 3:59.59—and a, let’s say, casual approach to mixology, but the spirits selection is top-notch, with rare mescals and whiskeys galore, and the hospitality can’t be beat. No wonder it’s a favorite with bartenders.
Daddy-O owner Philip Casaceli reportedly drove Pat LaFrieda crazy perfecting the custom dry aged blend for his burger. You will be glad he did. Served on a classic sesame seed bun with lettuce, tomato and red onion and tater tots. $15.
Situated in the heart of the West Village, well-known bar/restaurant Daddy-O specializes in well-crafted cocktails and bites of food to go with them. When the fall seasons hits you, head over to Daddy-O to try its signature drink The Daddy-O. The Daddy-O features Wild Turkey rare breed Bourbon, Wild Turkey American honey liqueur, orange bitters and house-made drunken cherries. What’s better than cherries soaked in bourbon?
Red and white hots are specialties of the Rochester, NY area. A red hot is a pork and beef sausage in a natural casing. Nitrites are added, as with almost all hot dogs, which causes the sausage to turn red when cooked. A white hot is made with veal as well as pork and beef, and no nitrates are added to the mix, leaving a white sausage similar to Bockwurst. This style is hard to come by in NYC but Daddy-O in the West Village serves admirable versions of both using sausages from Zweigle’s of Rochester, the premier producer.
Chef/Host Anne Burrell watches “The Gun Show” as Phil Casaceli shakes up an Herbacious Mojito on Food Network.
Daddy-O Owner Phil Casaceli stops by Watch What Happens Live to guest bartender for Micheal Strahan, Rachel Maddow and Andy Cohen.