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Sat. Night In New York

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9:30 p.m. (eastern)
JERSEY CITY, N.J.-----As one who has celebrated the spirit of tequila on a tequila cruise and on a tequila train through Mexico, I had to break away from my other duties to check out the Oaxaca Old Fashioned at the new Death & Co. bar on East 6th Street in the Lower East Side.
The Oaxaca Old-Fashioned has 1 1/2 ounces of El Tesoro Reposado (tequila), 1/2 ounce of mezcal, a teaspoon of amber agave nectar, a dash of bitters and a orange twist. The orange is peeled and the slice is flamed a few inches above the drink and spread around the lips of the glass. Each of my bartenders had devlish hipster goatees that acccented the Hades feel of the pyrogenics as well as the Gothic atmosphere of the small bar........

The drink was served in a mid-sized cocktail glass with a chunk of ice that could have sunk the Titanic. It cost me $12. It had a rich and silky taste, but I get more kick for less money with Colleen and Jackie's Snortin' Whores at the Matchbox.
I went to Death & Co. just after it opened at 7 p.m. [The name comes from an anti-alcohol Prohibtion era placard.] I read it was one of those places where during prime time they pick customers out of the line waiting outside. I'm too old to play that game and besides I have Farm Aid tomorrow.
By the time I left around 7:45, the windowless place was already starting to fill up. Customers pass through a thick black curtain to get inside. They drink in a dimly lit room accented only by a few chandeliers and candles on the tables and bar. Most everyone had to use candles to read the drink menu. It was like drinking on Lower Wacker Drive. It was so dark I made a mistake and ordered an original Old Fashioned as my first choice, but like the Oaxaca Old-Fashioned the ice was so damn big (and the drink was not topped off), I felt ripped off.
I'm pretty sure I'm the only Farm Aid fan who ventured into Death & Co. Saturday night. And I know I was the only one among the dozen or so in the bar who brought in a copy of the current issue of "Mob Candy [The Underworld Magazine of Mafia Politics Pleasure and Power]" with a pull out poster of John Gotti and a sexy pictoral of Mercedes Maia. Featuring Gambiing/Nightclubs/Girls/Estates/Guns/Scores/Cigars, I found "Mob Candy:" at a newsstand on 1st Avenue and when you get right down to it it makes perfect drinkside reading at "Death & Co."

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1 Comment

Enjoyed your Hooked on Jersey story - about the Four Seasons, but there were two geographical issues I'd like to point out.

1 - Palisades Park is about five miles north of Jersey City, not 25 miles north, as reported.

2 - Holsten's is not in downtown Bloomfield but a few miles north of downtown Bloomfield in the Brookdale section of town.

Boy it seemed like 25 miles in my car.
Thanks though,

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Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra has been a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer since 1985. His collection of Sun-Times travel columns, "Ticket To Everywhere," was published in 2000 by Lake Claremont Press. He was lead writer for "Farm Aid: Song for America" (Rodale Press, 2005) which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Willie Nelson inspired effort.
He won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick O-Type Award for Column Writing. Hoekstra wrote and co-proudced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special: "The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement," nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for a documentary program/cultural significance.
He lives in Chicago.


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This page contains a single entry by David Hoekstra published on September 8, 2007 8:29 PM.

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