NYCWFF: Astor Hours Cocktails at the Public Theater

Andrew Carmellini and friends host a fete while moving their feet

The Public Theater roared with excitement during last night’s liquor-soaked New York City Wine & Food Festival Astor Hours Cocktails event. As Andrew Carmellini is the chef at The Library — the new bar and restaurant on the upper level of the theater — it was only appropriate that he hosted the party, and true-to-form could be seen roaming between the lobby, Joe’s Pub on the first floor, and his new digs upstairs.

With singer Meah Pace holding court at Joe’s and the Pint-Sized Cocktail Orchestra strumming in The Library, most attendees could be seen tapping their toes, even when standing five people deep while waiting for a drink.

And there was no shortage of drinks last night, as Patrón bottles lined the back of the front bar as you entered the party. Guests were greeted with the Hip Beat, a Patrón reposado cocktail with Aperol and pink grapefruit juice, shaken and strained over ice topped with soda water, and the Patrón cocktails just kept coming in. Upstairs at The Library, bartenders waited on a long line of thirsty guests — but that didn’t stop them from adding flair to their bartending. Watching the bartender literally whip up the Stowaway — a champagne cocktail made with Blackheart Spiced rum, honey syrup, and lime juice — was like watching art.

Of the food offered, Marco Canora’s meat salad sandwich seemed to be the most popular, prompting some partiers to double-fist bread rather than booze.

An effervescent Kate Krader waded through the crowd at the pub, bubbling with excitement while talking about the upcoming Korean barbecue dinner thrown by Roy Choi. Speaking of food trucks, Krader cited Andrew Zimmern’s Trucks & Train — an evolution of last year’s Carts in the Parc event — as the must-attend event.

Seamus Mullen, however, just wants to see Morimoto sing at tonight’s Rock & Roll event. Thanks to the videos of the crooning Iron Chef that have circulated in the past, that’s where we’re headed as well.

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