A coveted evening in NYC is to dine out in this culinary capital of the world. There are many options–some well known, some intentionally kept secret. Where can one go to get one of the best food and cocktail pairings in NYC? The answer may surprise you.
Cocktail and Food Pairing at The Winslow
Traditionally, wines accompany food pairings or tasting menus. At The Winslow Executive Chef Nathan Pauley and Beverage Director and General Manager Cait Moorhead are attempting to elevate this to the next level. Incorporating flavors from one another’s inventions, the duo creates a memorable, delicious and unique experience.
Cuisine at The Winslow is created by Executive Chef Nathan Pauley and incorporates traditional favorites from across the pond as well as a range of house-made savory local delights. You can come in and devour the classics or try any one of his inventive takes. Pauley insists on buying local whenever he can and has a list of trusted farms and producers he uses. Having the Union Square Farmer’s Market just blocks away doesn’t hurt either. Chef Pauley hails from Savannah, GA. He graduated from Auburn University in 2008 with a degree in geography and anthropology and moved to NYC shortly after for an unpaid internship where he took on a job cooking at a bar and grill for income and decided to pursue a career in restaurants and hospitality. He has worked with many reputable chefs over the past 7 years, and in 10 establishments ranging from casual to Michelin starred venues. (most notably working with Noma cofounder Mads Refslund at ACME and earning Michelin Stars at Piora and Gunter Seeger NY.) When he’s not at work, he enjoys bubble baths, long walks on the beach and playing with his cat, Jane.
The Winslow is known for delicious food and a great gin selection, but it is also home to a marvelous cocktail program designed by Moorhead. Moorhead states, “The goal is to integrate seasonal flavors as well as add a twist to highlight the unique and flavorsome spirits used, not to cover them up. Too often bars add nothing but sugar, or mixers to mask the flavor of liquor, but there’s little point to that if you’re using the good stuff.” After graduating from Central Michigan University cum laude with a degree in Integrated Public Relations (useless) and a minor in Political Science (worse) she moved to NYC with dreams of living life in the style of a 90s sitcom. This of course led to a natural migration into the service industry. Bartending for more years than is attractive to mention at nightclubs and sports bars, she has been at The Winslow since their opening in 2013 where she was head bartender and Beverage Director until becoming the GM in 2016. She has designed award winning cocktails for Tales of the Cocktail and has also had drinks published in “The Black Book of Gin Cocktails.” When she’s not herding cats and answering emails she is in constant pursuit of well patterned pants and finely worded run on sentences.
Cocktail Tasting Dinner NYC
Moorhead and Pauley often work on special pairing events during the summer months, which consist of three courses paired with three specialty cocktails. It’s one of the best experiences in East Village or Gramercy so you definitely don’t want to miss the next one.
They’ve had themes running the gamut from food and cocktail pairings based on street fair flavors (for example, Moorhead paired her cocktail of Tom Kat Barr Hill, Blackberry & Grilled Sweet Corn Purée, Honey, Epazote, Grapefruit Bitters with Pauley’s dish of Turkey Porchetta of Turkey Breast and Cornbread Farce, Turkey Sausage, Wrapped in Pork Belly, Blackberry Vinaigrette ) to going decade by decade and putting their twist and improvements on classic dishes and cocktails from that era. (For example, Moorhead paired her cocktail of fat-washed Woodford Reserve Bourbon, homemade Apricot liqueur, and Punt ‘e’ Mas with Pauley’s dish of oyster, baked ham vichyssoise, green goddess emulsion, tarragon)
This year’s theme will be “Dinner and a Movie”. Each night will boast 3 courses designed by Pauley and paired cocktails created by Moorhead. The schedule is listed below:
- Sunday, July 28, 2019: Comedy Tasting Menu
- 1ST Course and paired Cocktail inspired by Romantic Comedy The Princess Bride
- 2nd Course and paired Cocktail inspired by Buddy Cop Comedy Lethal Weapon
- 3rd Course and paired Cocktail inspired by Coming-of-age Comedy The Goonies
- Sunday, August 25th, 2019: Action Tasting Menu
- 1st Course and paired Cocktail inspired by Gangster Action/Drama Goodfellas
- 2nd Course and paired Cocktail inspired by Super Hero/Comic Action film Dark Knight
- 3rd Course and paired Cocktail inspired by grizzled action film Road House
- Sunday, September 29th, 2019: Thriller Tasting Menu
- 1st Course and paired Cocktail inspired by Murder Mystery Thriller Seven
- 2nd Course and paired Cocktail inspired by Sci Fi Thriller Inception
- 3rd Course and paired Cocktail inspired by Horror/Thriller Silence of the Lambs