's newest whimsicality, Booker and Dax
is probably whereyou should be this weekend. Located in the space formerly occupied by Momofuku Milk Bar, from whence cookies once came forth, now comecocktails and carbonated delights that will haveyou floating like fizzy-lifting-gas from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
.Like any mad science lab, there is a mad scientist behind it. In this case,Dave Arnold
of the French Culinary Institute who has been experimenting withflavor and foam and fantastical ingredients for years. We doubt we need toconvince you, provided pork buns are involved, but just in case you need alittle push, here are five reasons to Be at Booker and Dax.
1. A whole section of bubble-filled cocktails,carbonated before your very eyes.
It'senough to bring us to the yard. A Hatchback's bitter bite (Campari, tequila,lime and grapefruit) is perfect for slipping into spring, while the gin andjuice's (gin and clarified grapefruit juice) deceivingly demure clarity israther tart and punchy.
2. Cocktail names like Bols Deep (Bols Genever andAngostura) and Mustachi-Ode (Nardini Amaro, Becherovka, Bourbon, egg-white, andpistachio).
3. The giant rocks.
A big piece of ice is nice.After sipping a cocktail over such a beautiful piece of frozen water, one getsrather attached. Can we take it home? Maybe just hold it for a minute before weleave? No? Fine. We'll take another. But please, can we use the same rock?
4. Inevitably bizarre ingredients.
We're the typeof drinkers who will go after anything that screams 'umami' or 'strong, weirdand stirred.' But we understand, not everyone wants fleur de sel and bacon inhis drinks. But if you're in the mood to experiment, it should be here. Go forthe smoky, sour, sweet Son of a Peach (mezcal, tequila, peach, lime andUmeboshi vinegar) or the deep, funky spice of the Jenny & Scott (Yamazaki,mole and Hellfire bitters).
5. Dave Arnold.
You may catch a glimpse of thewild-eyed Arnold behind the bar carbonating drinks, playing with liquidnitrogen, or scratching his head (that's him in the photo above). Chances are he won't look up or even hear youif you inquire, so shhh, he's thinking.
Photo by: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times