Tucked in between fabric and trim shops in the Garment District, at first glance may come off as your standard sports bar, but that is selling District Tap House short. In the private back room, The Vig, we got a preview of their latest small plates menu and fall drink program!
Head bartender, Noble Harris mixed up some classic cocktails with a District Tap spin. Although Noble was using some unique ideas (like using a Japanese ice baller to churn out spherical ice!) and fresh ingredients in his cocktails, he tries to stay away from the term “mixologist;” he’s just a bartender that makes good drinks.
“Cocktails are supposed to be fun. No one is inventing anything, [bartenders] are using the same templates and playing off them.” Noble likes to think of the “bar as a gathering place and bartenders are the hosts.” And as great hosts, you can never take away from what a bartender is: your friend, therapist, and engaging.
Chef Harrison Mosher (formerly of Alta) is also a new addition, showcasing his farm-to-table cuisine with their new small plates menu. What they’ve got here are upscale bar tapas! Chef Harrison stuck with classic bar bites: burgers, ribs, wings, but have swapped out the greasy and saltiness and elevated their plates with fresh produce and flavors.
Obviously this is not your typical pub. Yes, you’ve got your TVs playing the game, over 100 beers, wine, and even cocktails on tap! But District Tap House is trying to provide a package for everyone. They are really trying to become a part of Midtown East and love the idea of regulars. In fact Noble says, “I want to see people move up in buildings, see a secretary start off working on the 2nd floor and move up to the 20th floor!”
Using fresh, local ingredients, Noble showed off the unique flavored ice cubes for some of their signature drinks:
District 75 (Vodka, Elderflower syrup over lemon, mint, topped with prosecco and watermelon ice cube) A perfect before-drink aperitif to wet my appetite, loved the subtle watermelon infusion as the ice cube melted!
Garden Fizz (Lemonade & thyme ice cube, gin, Brooklyn honey, lemon, soda and sprig of rosemary) Refreshing, light drink with a subtle sweetness.
Pure Intentions (Gin, bianco vermouth, cocchi americano and grapefruit bitters) A classic negroni, with the essence of grapefruit
Fall Old-Fashioned (Bourbon, brown sugar, rhubarb bitters, over a green apple-ginger ice ball) Great warmth from the bourbon, intensified once the ice ball melts, adding spice from the ginger, yet mellowed out with the brown sugar.
Some of my favorite plates of the night were:
Warm Haricot Vert & Mushroom Salad (with Scotch Egg) Green beans with a nice snap, sauteed mushrooms with some parmesan cheese. But the standout was the Scotch Egg hard-boiled egg, breaded and crispy, yet rich, runny yolk
Crispy Brussel Sprouts (Granny Smith Apples, Pistachio, Creme Fraiche)- Slightly charred, crispy Brussel sprouts with pistachios (you know my love for these nuts)
Crispy Crushed Fingerling Potatoes (with Horseradish Foam)- Crispy, tender potatoes, with a spicy horseradish foamy sauce
Baby Back Ribs (Homemade Ancho BBQ Sauce) Fork tender ribs, with a smokey bbq flavor from the ancho!
District Wings (Lime & Agave Glaze) Super crispy wings, sweetness from agave
At District Tap House there is definitely something for everyone, you can come here for an after-work happy hour, to watch the game on Sunday, to bring a first date, for a girls’ or guys’ night out--everyone can have a good time here!