In recent years, Nolita has fully embraced its calling as the next great food ’hood, with hot spots like Parm, Osteria Morini and Balaboosta popping up alongside old favorites such as La Esquina and L’asso. Now the booze offerings are falling into place as well: Mother’s Ruin and 1534 spearheaded craft cocktails in the area, while Randolph Beer has ushered in a much-needed cast of craft brews. The Daily—a larger, more boisterous second coming of the Monday Room, the wine-and-canapés annex of Public—is a natural fit for this evolving terrain. The high-concept conceit of the place—it’s meant to evoke the well-heeled clubhouses of old New York, where gents gathered to discuss the day’s news—drives both the daily-changing drinks menu and the heavily stylized AvroKO makeover, accented by sepia-toned photographs emblazoned with provocative tabloid-style proclamations (secret meetings shape the world, drive over the bastards). While the setup feels all too familiar, it works pretty well, with good service and talented personnel running the show.
DRINK THIS: Beverage director Naren Young (Saxon + Parole) says he collected a master list of more than 600 drinks to fuel the daily offerings, which are posted on Facebook and writ large across a felt menu board. What that means, in practice, is that this is a classic cocktail joint, with each day’s six featured tipples occupying quick-read categories such as “frothy” and “bubbly.” It’s gimmicky, but it serves its purpose well: Indecisive or clueless drinkers can use the suggestions as easy entry points, while cocktail geeks can chat up the bartenders and ask them to dig into their Rolodex of recipes for inspiration. On our last visit, a call for something boozy and stirred with gin produced a properly herbaceous Bijou (gin, green Chartreuse, sweet vermouth), made with Plymouth to tease out the drink’s citrusy notes. If you’re with a date, you might opt for the cocktail-for-two option, mixed behind the bar then served tableside in a handsome glass bottle.
GOOD FOR: Pre- or postdinner cocktails. On a balmy evening, the most coveted real estate is on the eight-seat terrace perched just above Elizabeth Street.
THE CLINCHER: If you do get peckish while drinking, you’re in good hands: Brad Farmerie and his team at Public treat the Daily like a culinary incubator, experimenting with thoughtful bar food that doesn’t lean too heavily on the deep fryer. While parts of the short menu change weekly, we’d lobby for an honorary spot to be set aside for the chef’s fantastic pig’s-head banh mi. Even in an area with great budget Vietnamese sandwiches, his meat-lover’s riff exists on its own terms, packing in an onslaught of porcine goodies: rich Asian-spiced rillettes, a thick slab of pig’s-head terrine, crispy pork belly, and a crunchy pig’s ear coated with panko and spicy mustard.
By Chris Schonberger