The Irish know how to fortify themselves against winter, so rolling up to the Lower East Side’s modern Irish pub The Late Late(159 E Houston St.) is a smart bet on the long, cold nights to come. Upstairs, warm wood walls surround you in a homey space that’s both chic and comforting while you dig into the city’s best Irish breakfast, or head downstairs for more of a party vibe with live DJ sets by friends of co-owner Rob Ackroyd, lead guitarist for Florence & the Machine.
For winter, head bartender Seth Allen used the bar’s “Irish-inspired” philosophy to create a new menu of cocktails like Sage Advice (tamarind-infused Cruzan rum, lime, burnt orange peel and a kiss of smoked sage) and Irish Coffee with Jameson Black Barrel, a twist of Illegal mezcal and housemade cream. Guinness, of course, also appears in reductions and syrups — it’s the sweetener in the house Old Fashioned — but also in some surprising ways like the warm Minty Fresh cocktail with creme de menthe, and paired with prosecco in the Black Velvet.
Allen shared some of his favorite spots around the city when he’s not behind the bar experimenting with Ireland’s signature beer.
Out-of-town guests: “Last Sunday my cousins came up to visit New York with their 3-year-old son, I took them to The Cannibal, it’s a craft beer and butcher shop, I really like it there, you can get some really amazing food like large-format steaks and bone marrow dishes, very meat-heavy. They have an outdoor space that during winter is nice and heated.” 113 E. 29th St., Midtown East
For a group: “Queens Kickshaw is great place for beer and cider and live music. It’s a little off the beaten path, out of the city center, and it’s a nice walk to The Strand Smokehouse for barbecue and live bluegrass music.” 40-17 Broadway, 25-27 Broadway, Astoria
Under $10: “This Mexican place called Downtown Bakery, you can get two soft tacos or a giant burrito for $7 and it’s authentic, amazing Mexican food, the guys are so nice there. Somebody recommended it to me one day, and now I go there once a week.” 69 First Ave., East Village
Date night: “Syndicated, it’s a new theater in Brooklyn with really good food that you can order while you’re watching movies — tickets are $3. Even if you’re not going to a movie, the bar is gorgeous, it’s all marble and the size of a city block.” 40 Bogart St., Bushwick
Insta-worthy: “The VNYL, I’m still blown away when I walk in and see that spot. The cocktails on the first floor, milk punches and shrubs, you can’t really find everywhere, plus 20 craft beers on draft. The basement is a more intimate setting, and the top floor is more of a club.” 100 Third Ave., East Village
Hidden gem: “The Jeffrey was always one of my favorites. It’s cozy, it’s a horseshoe with an outdoor area in the back; if you walk in the door on the left it’s a cocktail bar, and if you walk in the door on the right it’s their beer side.” 311 E. 60th St., Upper East Side