Boilermaker took over the space that was formerly occupied by the short lived Golden Cadillac. The crew behind the new bar is largely the same: Greg Boehm (Cocktail Kingdom), Don Lee (PDT), James Tune, Executive Chef Miguel Trinidad. Recently brought on board is Erick Castro from Polite Provisions in San Diego.
The interior has been revamped since it housed Golden Cadillac. The pillars that used to run from floor to ceiling at the two high tops are completely gone and helps to open the room. The large open windows allow some natural light in during the weaning hours of daylight and then allow the golden glow of night time in NYC to be appreciated. The wall is lined with a comfortable couch and most areas sit between 2 and 4 people. There is one section that can fit a larger group of 6-8 or you can snag one of the 2 high tables of which larger groups can gather around. The addition of high chairs to these high tables is a nice touch as well.
Service is attentive without being intrusive. Everyone from bartenders, waitresses, and bussers were courteous and quick to render assistance. Water glasses were promptly filled and empty plates were quickly taken away.
Pro Tip: If Taylor is your waitress you are in for a treat as she is both knowledgable and personable.
With Don Lee behind the bar program you can expect solid drinks and potentially ones that will revolutionazie the cocktail game – i.e. Benton Old Fashioned. The opening menu is full of gems. There are 8 shaken drinks, 3 stirred, and 4 on tap. The Five String Banjo (Bourbon and Cream Soda) is sweet but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security as it packs a healthy punch. I am not a huge fan of spicy drinks as I often find they are just spicy without any other flavors, but The Uncle Jalapeño strikes a perfect balance between spicy and fruity without setting your mouth on fire. The Storm Shadow, Kentucky Buck, Ken Burns Effect, and Mayan Concubine are worthy choices too. The Pina Verde takes the best thing about a Pina Colada and combines it with the delicious herbal qualities of green chartreuse. It’s slightly sweet without being overwhelming. Whatever drink you pick, you will not be disappointed.
Boilermaker also has a range of craft beer options as well as a selection of – you guessed it – boilermakers. Looking for a beer to try, check out the River Horse Tripel from NJ.
Boilermaker has a small but delicious range of food and bar snack options. The onions rings are obnoxiously huge and are ok on their own but better with one of the optional sauces like the fig aioli or truffle mayo. The veggie chips (white, purple, and sweet potatoes, lotus chips, and white yams) are a welcome change from your usual bar options and the red pepper tofu sauce is a unique and taste complement. With Chef Miguel Trinidad in the kitchen, winner of Time Outs Battle of the Burger 2014, the burgers are not to be missed. They are succulent and allowed to shine instead of being drowned in a mass of toppings and at $7 wont break the bank.
The mini donuts are like small bite size churros and the raspberry chiptole sauce is a fruity and spicy complement. They are crisp as you bite into them and give way to a warm and chewy center.
Pro Tip: Ask for the off the menu curry wings
While I was excited for the opening of Golden Cadillac I was not sure how sustainable the concept was. Boilermaker shows early promise and has a chance to put its mark in the cocktail heaven of the East Village. Put simply go for the drinks and stay for the food and service.
13 First Avenue (at First Street)
New York, NY 10003