Nitecap was opened by David Kaplan and Alex Day (both of Death & Co) as well as Natasha David (who as spent time behind some of the best bars in NYC, including Maison Premiere). It is located under Schapiro’s and if you are not careful it is easy to miss.
The bar is located in the basement of Schapiro’s with the entrance directly to the left. After passing through the heavy black curtain you step into a cozy and inviting bar bathed in the warm glow of candle light. The walls are exposed brick and there are booths that allow you to hunker down with your date and get lost in time. The bar itself seats about 8.
Service was attentive without being intrusive which could be hard to pull off in such a small space. Bartenders were will willing to explain drink options and suggest flavor combinations. When going off menu they provided tasty options.
Nitecaps opening Menu is chock full of wonderful surprises with a variety of enticing options. Cocktails are all over the map and are able to satisfy almost anyone’s tastebuds. One of the first drinks to catch my eye was the The Tartan Swizzle.
What is so curious about this drink is that it uses two different scotches, including Laphroaig 10, as it’s base. This is complimented by a heavy does of tiki including pineapple and Passionfruit. I can say with confidence that it works in a weird and wonderful way. While I didn’t have the Bananarac, it looks like a fine banana laced Sazerac rift that makes use of the almost impossible to find (in the States) Banana liqueur, Giffard banane du bresil. Instead I opted for an old fashioned sweetened with the liqueur which was expertly balanced. The Jukebox is a great dessert like option to close the night down, a boozy ice cream float minus the ice cream. In addition we also sampled other drinks including the Way Back When and Bad Manners. There wasn’t a bad drink in the bunch.
There are several food options including fries and smoked white fish. The food is good and does just enough to soak up the alcohol and help you settle in for a long evening.
Nitecap is a welcome addition to the neighborhood and sure to be a perineal favorite among both industry and regular folks. It is a place that maintains the beverage programs of places like Death and Co but removes some of the formality that can accompany some of these other establishments. So go ahead stop in for a drink and get lost in time as you take a journey through a creative flavor wonderland.
120 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002