Whiskey is a global phenomenon, so it makes sense that an international destination like New York isn’t short on places to explore the spirit, whether imported from Kentucky or Japan. Specialty bars and quite a few booze-forward restaurants have libraries full of the brown stuff that would make even a Pappy Van Winkle collector envious. These are the most exciting whiskey-centric bars around NYC.
The Daddy-O tots are flawlessly fried to a deep-brown crackle on the outside (with no hint of burnt old oil), firm but airy within, simply adorned with salt and, at your pleasure, a dunk into a little crock of ketchup. Pure potato perfection.
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.
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).
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.
Chicken wings, the second best part of that essential bird, may have become associated with fall and football-watching, but I tend to eat them as much as possible all year long. Like other ubiquitous dishes however (burgers, fries, ice cream), wings—whether Buffalo, Asian, barbecue, jerk, or just straight-up fried—can tragically disappoint as often as they send you soaring to an fiery, messy heaven. What follows is all about the latter, a dozen ways to feel extremely happy while eating with your hands.
You may, as many people do, associate wings with football, and fair enough — they’re one of the all-time most satisfying finger foods, easy to snack on while keeping your eyes glued to a screen. ’Tis the season, so we’ve rounded up the very best wings New York has to offer, but make no mistake: You don’t need an excuse to eat them, and in fact, these are so good they may distract you from the game.
The food at this low-key neighborhood bar sounds like your average greasy bar fare: chili dogs, quesadillas, burgers, and tater tots. But it’s actually some of the best versions of greasy bar food you’ll find anywhere. Everything from the potato chips to the flour tortillas is house-made, the burger is dry-aged, and the tater tots are perfectly crispy and golden — plus, the wine, beer, and cocktail selection is pretty solid, too.
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.
Daddy-O, a popular West Village bar. It sits at No. 21. The famous food website claims the eatery’s “little red wine vinegar, honey, and tomato sauce makes its way into the hot sauce-butter blend” is the perfect concoction.