675 Bar. It’s smack dab in the epicenter of bedlam, MPD (that’s The Meatpacking District for you uninitiated folks). 675 Bar is actually a neat little bar directly below Bill’s Burger. It has an eclectic scene most weeknights. It’s sandwiched between The Gansevoort and one of those chain, pseudo-Mexican spots – Dos Caminos. Ara, a local industry wine bar, is thrown in there too for good measure. Dos Caminos is right up there in quality and stature with The Olive Garden, in my not so humble opinion. They’ve spread to 4 or 5 locations all over Manhattan. I’d like to find the dude that leased Dos the space in MPD, in particular, and tie him to the 14th street F-train subway entrance on a 98 degree July day so he can “waft” in the subway’s finest, Summer aromas. Ok, ok… I jest somewhat. I’ve eaten at Dos (on Park Ave) a few times. The food is just fine, the cocktails yummy, and the overall experience: pretty good.
Interestingly enough, both 675 Bar and Dos Caminos are both BR Guest establishments. BR Guest is one of a couple of dozen, large scale, NYC-based hospitality management organizations that have proliferated in the last decade or two. Their properties also include fine spots like Strip House, Primehouse and Blue Water Grill. Sometimes they get it really right (read: Blue Water) and other times (as in the aforementioned Dos Caminos) err… not so much.
Anyway, Eben Klemm, BR Guests corporate – um – “mixologist,” (here we go again with the labels) dishes on Manhattans – shaken v. stirred. Me? I don’t give two craps about [temporary] cloudiness and tiny shards of ice that will dissolve in a minute anyway. I kind of like them – and I’m a life-long Bourbon/Manhattan aficionado. As I mentioned in a previous article, I’ll take my Manhattan extra cold – thank you. All else being equal, shaking will generally result in a colder cocktail.
Mr. Klemm gets the proportions correct, thankfully. He’s got a weird shake and uses a jigger, which simply won’t fly in busy spots, but whatever – those things may just be camera fodder. Bartenders need to be able to free pour those measurements like clockwork. If you watch the video, clearly he’s bent on pushing stirred. Just like Mr. Klemm, our buddy Doug, over at The Pegu Blog, is also adamant about stirring over shaking. I’m in the opposite camp.
What say you Kimosabe?