www.MadamGeneva-NYC.com Asian Snacks, Gin Cocktails, Manhattan
Did you know that the word ‘gin’ is actually short for Geneva? Well we didn’t, and if you are anything like us, you too would have been quite surprised when you browsed the gin-only specialty cocktail list at Madam Geneva down on Bleecker Street. Our initial reaction wasn’t good… gin… but why? What an unusual choice. At one time or another, everyone’s had a run in with gin… For A it happened much earlier on and it involved shots of gin (yes, I know, who does shots)… And that day left a lasting impression. For others in the group, there were close encounters with too many gin and tonics, or dirty martinis… The bottom line, the memories aren’t pretty and your body and that distinctive gin smell are unforgiving. However, the brick clad, sexy, swanky sanctuary of Madam Geneva will finally put those haunting memories to their eternal rest (thank goodness!).
Their creations are divine and really complement gin’s inherent distinct and poignant quality. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve noticed that lately, heading out for a cocktail has been transformed into an experience. The typical beer-and-vodka-bar of yesteryear has evolved into a haven for mixologists! Exotic compliments like Yellow and Green Chartreuse, Rosewater, Thai Basil and Egg Whites (not all together of course), are the standard. It seems that it’s not a good cocktail unless you are dumbfounded by at least one ingredient. Madam Geneva has brought it up a few levels, with their libations making a case for gin becoming the ‘vodka’ of the future. Who knew?!
At first apprehensive, we quickly feel in love with our cocktails. We each ordered different drinks, tasted sips of the other’s, and then switched for Round Two! The unique spin on the classic [Madam's] French 75 containing Brooklyn Gin, Rosewater, Pomegranate Seeds and Lemon Slices, was light and slightly sweet. For an equally refreshing creation, with a completely different flavor, the Far Eastern Gimlet, containing Spring 44 Gin, Yuzu, Housemade Lime Cordial and Vietnamese Mint, is the epitome of summer. For something really different, sip on the Tiger’s Milk containing Bombay Sapphire ‘East’, pineapple, coconut milk and birdseye chili. And if you are really parched (or happen to have a table of your closest friends with you), take a crack at the Horse & Carriage, a punch bowl filled with Beefeater 24, Combier, St. Germain, Chamomile tea, lemon juice and citrus sugar… a steal at $60 bucks!
If you still aren’t willing to give gin a try (you wuss!), there is no cause for concern, the bar is fully stocked with all of the standard (and not so standard offerings). Plus there are tasty snacks galore! The Asian inspired menu of small plates are perfect for snacking, whether in one of their cozy, candlelit tables, or around the unique extended bar area. For example, order up some Oysters with a Thai Mignonette, Spicy Singapore Laksa or steamy Duck buns with a Hoisin Sauce. And if a full meal is in order, take a few short steps next door, to top-notch sister restaurant Saxon and Parole, for an incredible seafood tower or a menagerie of grilled meats.
- Madam’s French 75 [Brooklyn Gin, Rosewater, Pomegranate Seeds, Lemon Slices] (A+K)
- Far Eastern Gimlet [Spring 44 Gin, Yuzu, Housemade Lime Cordial, Vietnamese Mint] (A+K)
A: The more you go out, the more you yearn for something different! Madam Geneva executed an unusal gin-meets-Asian theme perfectly, with a smothering and exotic flair that makes you want to bring a hot date and stay awhile. We will return… shortly.
K: What a fabulous cocktail lounge. Sexy, sultry, and offering delicious elixirs. My kind of spot!
Our Rating Scales…
- Scene- Sultry downtown gin den
- Food/Drinks- 4: Stellar! Wouldn’t change a thing.
- Tip Worthy- 3: Gratuity included.
- Coordinates- 4: Neighborhood- Centrally located!
- Restaurant Return Rate- Green light!