These days, Gen-Zers are “invading” Bemelmans Bar and newcomer The Nines in New York City, confirming classic piano bars (sans singalongs) are still in style though appeasing to a younger, chic crowd.
Live tunes from the electric-yellow piano* at The Ivy Room Piano Bar (atop NoMad’s Royalton Park Avenue hotel) is not the only thing humming with “buzz.” Spotlight on the Dirty Vesper – the venue’s talked-about table-side Martini.
The Dirty Vesper combines smoky shiitake mushroom-infused gin and herbal celery-laced vodka for a modern Martini variation—two words: mild and earthy. A contemporary cocktail cart, outfitted with the four ingredients (plus olive garnish), beautifully demonstrates the making of, through a crystal-clear ice pour-over, straight into the vintage vessel. Rolled-up and prepared table-side, the top-notch experience literally caters (and captures the “perfect” Martini moment) to all, including Instagram followers.
“New Yorkers pride themselves on being trendsetting and [their ability to] reimagine experiences,” shares Jonathan Knudsen, principal of Gilded Group Hospitality. “Martinis made a big comeback in the city. Now it is [about] how to experience that differently, with unexpected spirits infusions, table-side flourishes, and so forth. We want to give our guests something unexpected, and we knew if we wanted to bring back classic Martinis, it had to be in a unique way.” Here’s to a new era of classy nights out.
*The electric yellow piano “is a physical embodiment of this [new] direction as is our highly Instagrammable table-side martini program. The music ranges from Top 100 pop to perennial crowd favorites, elevating the room’s energy as you would expect a DJ to do,” Knudsen mentions.
Table-side Dirty Vesper
- 1 ½ oz. Celery-infused Grey Goose Vodka
- 1 ½ oz. Mushroom-infused Bombay Sapphire Gin
- ¾ oz. Lillet Blanc
- ¼ oz. Olive juice
- 3 Castelvetrano olives
Preparation: Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail mixing glass and stir until chill. Serve strained in a coupe glass and garnish with three Castelvetrano olives.