When Eben Freeman announced he was leaving not only the now-defunct Tailor but the country back in September, the focus fell on the failure of the experimental restaurant that employed him. Now, Freeman is announcing his return to the city for a series of events he’ll be hosting in early February. And, he’s hoping to catch your attention with this nugget: one of the parties will involve illegal activities.
The molecular mixologist will be back in the Big Apple February 8-11th for a trio of parties to promote his Cocktail All-Stars collective, a group he formed with several other bartenders from around the country and beyond to act as a consultancy and generally “spread bar culture,” as he likes to say. The parties in question are planned for Double Crown, Madame Geneva, and the Monday Room.
“The focus will be on Asian flavors. I’ve been on an Asian kick lately,” said Freeman, who has spent the last few months in Asia. “It’s going to be a loose thing. I want it to be like old-time Bowery meets Asian dim sum. People can dress up if they want to.”
The various events will feature, in addition to snacks by Double Crown chef Brad Farmerie, the contributions of Jean Georges‘ Johnny Iuzzini, PDT‘s Jim Meehan, and Death & Co.‘s Alex Day, we well as other bartenders from outside the city.
“We’ll be doing progressive drinks,” Freeman elaborated. “You know, I hate to use the ‘molecular’ term.”
One of the nights is expected to involve “old timers” — Dale DeGroff, Gary Regan, and Dushan Zaric — making Old Fashioneds. The final event will be a “very secretive tasting” at the Monday Room: “All I can say is some of the things that will happen will be illegal.”
As for plans to re-enter the New York bar scene in a more permanent way, Freeman admitted he was “talking about it, but it’s in the incredibly early stages,” adding that he did not want to ignite the blogger-driven “pre-hype” that accompanies bar openings in the city.