Fine dining, meet paper umbrella
Richard Leach is best known for the elegant desserts he dreams up at Park Avenue restaurant, which modifies its name with the seasons. Now, at the latest member of NYC's surging tiki tribe, the Hurricane Club, the pastry chef plays mixologist, pouring his flair for the exotic into the cocktail glass.
As is the case at other Polynesian drinking dens, rum is a key player. But Leach reawakens the Zombie set with a variety of spirits and reimagined tiki recipes like the #12, a modernized mai tai flavored with lychee and house-made orgeat, or the #77, spiced rum paired with coconut, cardamom and passion fruit--sipped from a coconut shell through a golden straw.
In keeping with the city's other cocktail trends, there are also large-format punches and a slew of frozen concoctions like the pisco-based #37, made verdant and vibrant with cucumber-mint puree. And Leach stays in tune with the seasons in drinks like the Apricot Cardamom (click here to download the recipe).
All of this must be drunk alongside chef Craig Koketsu's upscale Pacific Rim-inspired menu. (We finally have a tiki bar with serious eats.) Some favorites: peanut butter and guava sandwiches with prosciutto and Thai basil; fiery three-pepper hot wings; and velvety caramelized long-bone short ribs--all of which pave the way for Leach's desserts, such as the Samoan, a tropical-y tiramisu made with angel food cake.
You can't keep the pastry chef out of the kitchen forever.
The Hurricane Club, 360 Park Ave. S.; 212-951-7111 or thehurricaneclub.com
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