Head to Daniel, Chef Daniel Boulud’s renowned Upper East Side restaurant, and you might spot one or two carts being wheeled around the room. In fact, the restaurant actually removed four tables from the dining room to accommodate the flow of these tables-on-wheels.
One of them is a cocktail cart with a very specific purpose – to mix you up a table-side Castellammarese Rye.
To assemble the $28 tipple, the cart-tender combines Punt e Mes vermouth spiked with apricot liqueur and coffee syrup, with Rittenhouse rye. Then, instead of a traditional stir, the drink is rotated within a vintage cocktail shaker, and poured into a prohibition style demitasse cup complete with a tiny scroll detailing the cocktail’s history.
Bloomberg reports that this type of show could be the future of cocktail service for high-end restaurants, who are ditching speed and efficiency for a focus on service and a more deliberate cocktail experience.
According to Karim Guedouar, Daniel’s service director approximately 10 to 15 table side drinks are ordered each night at Daniel.
However to keep things fresh – and to keep the alcohol flowing – The Castellammarese Rye will be retired in May and a new cocktail will take its place as the star of the cart.