King Size is not that big- that's the first thing you need to know. But, like the graffitied chihuahua on the wall of the sunken back room, there is more to it than its size. Second, south of Hester Street, it's further down Essex than we thought- past The East Side Company one block-that's why we were late to meet a friend there for drinks on a recent weeknight. We slide onto a comfy barstool and were able to still take advantage of the 2-for-1 happy hour (4-8pm) with two specialty vodka cocktails. The first, huckleberry-infused vodka and lime, straight up ($10) was light, tart and refreshing. The second, muddled black cherries, vanilla vodka, a splash of Coke and mint, served on ice was more innovative but reminded us, in both color and presentation, of a mojito. We'd reccomend the cocktail to die-hard vodka fans but are waiting for the mojitos Danny Milan, the bartender and co-owner, promised are coming with the summer sun. Both drinks we tried are still looking for their names, so knock back a couple and get creative, the staff is taking suggestions.
Because Danny's partner in King Size is Julio Pena of Il Bagatto the restaurant's entire menu is available at the bar. We tried this adventuresome approach, relaying our order to the staff, the staff calling it in and laying down silverware and bamboo mats in front of us and the the delivery showing up, unsurprising, very quickly. The food was great and having a civilized picnic at the bar was a good way to linger. The bar is certainly interesting from it's precariously thin shelves holding the top shelf liquor to the tables in the front perfect for games and the back room forever watched by the chihuahua. Turns out the painting by Lee Quinones of the dog is a portrait of Julio Pena's pet- everybody needs a mascot and we love him. King Size is looking to expand to do its own brunch so drop by and see how it turns out.
Photo courtesy of Maya Corneille
21 Essex Street, near Hester