Off to the races: 5 places in New York to celebrate the Kentucky Derby
Break out your biggest hat, your snazziest seersucker and celebrate the greatest two minutes in sports, kicking off tomorrow
Fri May 2 2014
Photograph: Krista Schlueter
Jump-start the race's 140th showdown at this crawfish-and-cocktail den with mint juleps and oysters aplenty. Chef Lisa Giffen's event-exclusive menu showcases crudités and Bénédictine dip, Kentucky Hot Brown—inspired by Louisville's 1926 Welsh-rarebit debut—and bourbon-cream–topped pecan tarts for a sweet finish. The Balisman Band will bring live jazz and gypsy swing beats to the stage alongside the live derby-cast. 2–8pm.
This Tribeca house of stouts and spirits honors the races with celebratory cocktails like the Derby Shrub, where Old Forestor Bourbon meets chamomile blossoms, herbal amaro bitters and an apricot-vinegar infusion. Root for your bronco with the Brown Derby's bourbon, grapefruit and honey concoction, or keep the fastest two minutes in sports classy with a vintage mint julep. 2–7pm.
Red Rooster Harlem
Bottoms up to the luckiest bets at Marcus Samuelsson's ol' American eatery with $7 Bulleit Bourbon cocktails and spirit special, the 42-a mix of bourbon, yellow chartreuse, Grand Marnier and orange bitters. Sip to live bluegrass tunes by Adam Rongo's trio, and snag straw-trim hats and feathered hair ware at hat honchoes the Goorin' Bros.' pop-up shop. 5–7pm.
Stone Rose Lounge
Don your classiest downs-day attire for this "run for the roses" feast of chipotle and cheddar-ham sliders, shrimp cocktail and open-faced turkey-bacon sammies. A Woodford Reserve cocktail menu features fruity remakes of the minty classic, from ginger peach to watermelon, while ladies in the fanciest derby hats sip complimentary glasses of sparkling rose to the DJ's Southern jazz mixes. Noon.
Grab your tickets for this stallion affair where executive chef Sylvain Delpique serves up cornmeal-fried oysters and bourbon ham on biscuits. Behind the bar's fence of 33 ornamental jockeys, festivities reign from the best-dressed contest to live bets on the victorious colt for club prizes. Maker's Mark's distillery reps will be in-house for cocktail chat, while guests toast limited-edition cocktails of Mount Gay rum and Harvey's Bristol Cream sherry with a splash of orange and cranberry juices. 3:30pm.
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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)