Sam Ross of Milk and Honey and Little Branch

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  • Photograph: Dale May

    Sam Ross

    Sam Ross

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Sam Ross at Milk and Honey

    Sam Ross at Milk and Honey

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Sam Ross at Milk and Honey

    Sam Ross at Milk and Honey

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Penicillin at Milk and Honey

    Penicillin at Milk and Honey

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Milk and Honey

    Milk and Honey

Photograph: Dale May

Sam Ross

Sam Ross

The talent: Sam Ross

Where to find him: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Milk and Honey (134 Eldridge St between Broome and Delancey Sts; mlkhny.com); Thursdays at Little Branch (20 Seventh Ave South at Leroy St, 212-929-4360).

Why you'll dig him: You might expect the staff to be brown-bitter-and-stirred formalists at Milk and Honey—the birthplace of New York's neospeakeasy trend, where gentility is a house rule. But then you haven't met Sam Ross. The last man on earth with the swagger to pull off a mullet, Ross has been a friendly, puckish face behind that bar for six years. That he's a pleasure to talk to is particularly important here—every order comes not from a menu, but from a conversation. In a few months, Ross will be an even bigger presence in this space: He and his "nonsexual life partner," coworker Michael McIlroy, have plans to lay claim to it when Milk and Honey moves uptown. They'll install windows and a glass door, and will (brace yourselves) trash the reservations-only policy. The name of their venture, which is backed by Sasha Petraske: Attaboy.

He says: When it comes to modern techniques and wacky ingredients, Ross is reluctant: "You shouldn't have to think about why something is good. We drink to relax, to bond and for the social aspect of it. I don't think you need to confuse people too much."

Users say

1 comments
Roxanne
Roxanne

I had the opportunity to spend my last night in NYC at Milk & Honey. You have to be extremely talented to make a cocktail a costumer will love based on a conversation. This something I trully appreciate.