Nestled between the quietly vanishing bro bars and the niche speciality stores for rich people there's a little craft cocktail-and-beer bar movement happening on the Upper East Side. First there were The Penrose and Jones Wood Foundry, among others, and now it's The Gilroy, which opened on construction-fraught 2nd Avenue at 81st Street at the end of February. Maybe now uptown denizens have something to live for. (j/k)
Bespoke cocktails are the name of the game here, with irreverent twists on classics like the Phils Collins ($14) made with green tea-infused gin, raspberry, lemon, mint and seltzer and Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition, with rum, sherry, espresso and a "cardamom tincture." A vaguely Italian theme also gives the bar its special Negroni list, from a traditional Gilroy Negroni ($14) with gin, Pune e Mes and Campari to a versions made with rye, mezcal and bourbon. You can also opt for a barrel-aged version for two people that's been aged in the bar's cellar.
The small but tasty food menu follows the haute comfort food formula, with a version of Mac & Cheese ($12) made with Irish cheddar and Asiago, Chicken Pot Pie ($16) and The Gilroy Wellington ($19) with beef tenderloin and foie gras. In keeping with the Italian nod there's also a small crudo menu with tuna tartare and raw oysters, plus seasonal cheese and salumi, marinated olives and a foccacia with tallegio and dried tomatoes. Unlike many area bars, the full food menu will be available nightly until 4 a.m.
1561 2nd Avenue, 212-734-8800; thegilroynyc.com