1641 2nd Ave at 85th St, Upper East Side
The Place: A cocktail bar and restaurant with a vague Latin twist.
The Time: Monday November 27, 6:15pm. I had therapy (shoutout to eliminating the stigma around mental health! woo!) and was heading to that fancy new Upper East Side Q train, when I realize there are a lot of bars around here now. I grew up in this neighborhood, and back in the day when I was looking for a place to drink underage, there was nothing. I walk by The Daisy and think, “here looks good.”
The Vibe: It’s a pretty big, sleek, modern space. This is one of those bar/restaurant deals, so there are plenty of tables but I take a seat at the marble bar top. There’s white tile on the back wall of the bar, gray wash walls, wooden beer tap handles. The bar itself is pretty full, but there aren’t many people at tables so it feels a bit empty. It seems to be mostly couples and small groups of female friends. The two women to my right are joined by a third who wears an enormous ring. They’re celebrating her engagement and one of the other women just got married and they are only talking about weddings and proposals. “It’s definitely the style right now,” says one woman about the other one’s ring. I didn’t know diamonds came in trends but I just learned yesterday that pink diamonds are really expensive and rare, so if it’s not a pink diamond, I don’t care.
The Bartender: A nice guy who quickly tells me the happy hour special then leaves me alone for a while. He wears a vest and tie so you know they mean ~*serious cocktail business*~.
The Drank: I get the Hypnotize: tequila blanco, blood orange, cassis, lime, jalapeño. It’s good; tart, spicy, refreshing. The happy hour is just wine, beer and well drinks, which I guess is normal, but I’m in the mood for a cocktail and since I’ve been exclusively eating Thanksgiving leftovers for the past 5 days I can afford the $14 for this one. I don’t know why all their drinks are named after 90s songs (“Genie in a Bottle,” “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,” “Baby Got Back” etc). At the bottom of the menu is the drink “#basic: lime-infused Tito’s vodka topped with” and that is either the best intentional or most hilarious unintentional word-omission ever.* Talk about knowing your demographic!
Was I Hit On? Nah, I'm left blissfully alone, though there's not really anyone here who would hit on me. As I’m about to leave, an older couple sits at the corner of the bar, and the woman is literally STANDING AND WAVING in order to get the bartender’s attention. Granted, service is a little slow. But it’s just him and one barback working this entire place. So this guy’s playing host, bartender and server. Nothing warrants standing and leaning over the bar waving frantically like that, ma’am. Take a seat.
Should You Drink Here Alone? If you live in the neighborhood. The Daisy is a welcome addition to a neighborhood notoriously deprived of cocktail bars. Upper East friends, come get your #basic.
*The answer to the omission is: What is “Soda” for 300, Alex.