Los Amantes Silvestres Ejutla
Del Maguey Pechuga
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1. Del Maguey Chichicapa: Del Maguey exports several different single-village, limited-production mescals from Oaxaca, considered to be among the best available. The espadin agave in this one (the genetic mother of tequila's blue agave) is roasted with oak—making it very smoky, but still round and even. Astor Wines & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7500). 750ml for $71.99.
2. Del Maguey Pechuga: Made following an ancient harvest ritual, this fermented agave is distilled through a chicken breast, the still itself packed with local fruits and nuts. The result: smooth, with a distinctly meaty scent, reminiscent of Texas-style barbecue brisket. Astor Wines & Spirits. 750ml for $189.99.
3. Los Amantes Silvestres Ejutla: With the opening of Casa Mezcal on the LES, owner Ignacio Carballido is expanding his line of mescals to include rare ones from small villages. This variety, distilled from wild agave from La Noria, has a distinct Bloody Mary quality: spicy, with a pickled-tomato scent. Casa Mezcal, 86 Orchard St between Broome and Grand Sts (212-777-2600). $13 per glass.
4. Ilegal Aejo: This aged mescal develops a sweet cedar and pine scent, thanks to more than a year spent in charred-oak barrels. Astor Wines & Spirits. 750ml for $109.99.
5. Sombra: Modeling glue comes across on this single-village mescal, but note also its great salinity and noticeable acid and spice, recalling a Maryland crab feast with vinegar and Old Bay. Astor Wines & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7500). 750ml for $44.99.
Manny's on Second
At first glance, it’s impossible to differentiate Manny’s on Second from any other dive bar. The facade features a neon-lit Sam Adams sign in the widow and posters shouting happy hour deals. The line of TVs above the bar screened Modern Family, an NBA game and a boxing match on one recent night, which accurately encompasses the watering hole’s vibe and priorities. Easy listening tunes include “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino. The menu shows off bar snack staples like a basket of three Angus beef sliders with cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion ($10) that are each practically the size of an actual cheeseburger, plus crispy fries ($5.50) and fried ravioli with marinara dipping sauce ($8), among others. Of course, as a sports bar, Manny’s on Second is required to serve chicken wings, which it does in a variety of sauces ($12.50 for 10 wings), and it also cooks regular-size burgers and sandwiches, like a BLT with avocado ($10.50). The suds on tap are similarly unsurprising. Beer aficionados might cringe at the presence of Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite (each $6), but also on deck is Southern Tier Pumpking, arguably the best pumpkin beer around, and Ballast Point Sculpin (each $8), a refreshing IPA out of California. Yet the real selling point on Manny’s is the crowd. Regulars come in to watch the night’s game and banter with each other and the amiable bartenders they know by name. By the time you leave, you’ll have made a few friends. All in all, Manny’s on Second offers n
Venue says: “Join us for Manny's Happy Hour. Every Mon-Fri, from opening to 7 pm. Half price on well drinks, wine, bottled beer, and most draft beers.”