The Beagle: A Downtown Cocktail Vacation
We’re classicists. We’re not trying to re-invent the wheel, we’re simply trying to make something as good as it can be made or was made.
French Countryside, meet East Village.
East Village, meet French countryside.
Now that you’ve both become acquainted, it’s time to experience a combination of the two at The Beagle, a new addition to the East Village. With a mixture of downtown eclectic vibes and the warmth of a cozy French cottage on the River Thames, The Beagle is a hybrid of what everyone wants in a bar. Comfort, and outstanding cocktails.
While outside on this typical weekday may have been overcast and full of the hustle and bustle of city life, inside The Beagle was like entering into a shelter from the storm, complimented with cocktails. The whites and blues of the walls and tables were reminiscent of summers spent on the French hillside, while the dark wooden bar with glossy white tiles adorning the walls behind it looked like a cozy cottage kitchen. It may be warm and cozy, but it is definitely not to be taken lightly. Dan Greenbaum, bar manager at The Beagle, is taking the idea of simplicity and applying it to his hand-crafted cocktails, with his dedication to the craft seen clearly in their construction.
Matthew Piacentini, owner of The Beagle, defines the cocktail program as “academic, historical, innovative.” After trying the cocktail that bar manager Dan Greenbaum mixed up for me, I understood what he meant by this, this “geeky” interest in cocktails. Rather than approach the cocktails from a point of a molecular gastronomist, or as a “bar chef,” as several bartenders in New York City tend to do, the drinks at The Beagle are simplistic. Minimal. Perfection. The El Guero, a Mezcal-based cocktail made with vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lemon juice, was a revelation. Smoky and sweet from the Mezcal and vermouth, and immediately brightened from the lemon, this was a perfect representation of what The Beagle is all about.
“We’re classicists. We’re not trying to re-invent the wheel, we’re simply trying to make something as good as it can be made or was made,” says Piacentini.
As Piacentini describes it, there is no real theme to The Beagle. Rather, the lack of theme is what makes it so unique. Instead of looking for some bold and stand-out concept, The Beagle is a representation of what Piacentini wanted, which was something that he just simply liked. Something that worked for him.
It’ll work for you, too.