You can order all sorts of inspired cocktails at the recently opened The Gilroy, an attractive, new spot with art deco chandeliers, reclaimed wood communal tables, and a graceful copper bar on the drinking den-deprived Upper East Side. But why in the world would you? The name of the game here is Negronis; the beloved, Italian combination of equal parts gin, equal parts sweet vermouth, and Campari bitters. Owners Steve Laycock (also of the East Village favorite Ducks Eatery), and Josh Mazza (who helped open Chelsea’s Bathtub Gin) offer a whopping Seven Variations on the classic cocktail, including seasonal, barrel-aged and bottled versions.
The “Gilroy Negroni” is the gold standard house tipple, with Spring 44 Gin, Punt e Mes, Campari and the traditional orange peel garnish. But be adventurous and try the smoky “Oaxaca” instead, which substitutes 40-day aged Illegal Mezcal Joven for gin, or the pleasantly bitter “Boulevardier,” a caramel-colored mix of Old Forester Bourbon, Cynar and Aperol. There’s also the spicy and heady “Nutcracker” with Dickel White Rye and Walnut Liqueur, the refreshing “Copper Illusion” with Spring 44 Old Tom and orange-flavored Cointreau, and the easy drinking “Old Pal,” a sprightly combo of Bulliet Rye, Lillet Blanc, and Dubbonet Rouge. And if you’re out on a hot date, it doesn’t get much sexier or slinkier than the “Vintage for Two” – a double serving of Gilroy Negroni that’s been matured in oak barrels in the cellar, then bottled and served to share.
Feeling peckish? Former Spigolo chef Joseph D’Angelo has also developed an appealing roster of bar bites – from light fare, like Fluke Crudo, Cheese Boards and Oysters on the half shell to hearty feeds like Mac & Cheese with Irish cheddar, Chicken Pot Pie with seasonal vegetables, and a Beef Wellington topped with mushrooms, foie gras and puff pastry.
And yes, they all happen to pair perfectly with a tumbler or two of heady, potent Negroni. Oh, and The Gilroy is open and serving food til 4 am if any late-night cravings happen to strike.