New decade, new chapter in New York City nightlife. Gotham’s tastemakers are feeling pretty frisky about the whole deal. Expect to see a burst of creativity in 2011 — at least, if we have our way.
Cocktail trend: hyper-seasonal cocktails
Given the success of the farm-to-table movement, it was only a matter of time until bartenders started dabbling in it, too. Meet the hyper-seasonal cocktail, where herbs and produce grown on-site give your libation a special zing. Case in point: the Roof Club & Garden at the Gramercy Park Hotel (2 Lexington Ave., 212-920-3300). Right now, pickled peppers and rosemary are making their way to the bar; come summertime, it could be tomatoes or pineapple sage. Cocktails at the Chelsea Market’s Green Table (75 Ninth Ave., 212-741-9174) also follow the trend.
We want more: pop-up photo booths
If one’s an anomaly, two’s a conscience and three’s a trend, then the mobile photo booth is on the cusp of breaking through. Companies such as bkbooth and NYC Photo Booth travel to parties and set up a photo booth — be it an actual photo booth or a stage for a photo shoot — in which anyone and everything goes. The result? A montage of the evening better than any Facebook photo album could possibly ever be.
Scene rising: Brooklyn’s creative underground
Gemini & Scorpio. Winkel & Balktick. The Danger. Haven’t heard of them? Google them. The parties these organizers have been throwing are a fair barometer of a scene that’s been slowly percolating away in Brooklyn and shows no sign of slowing down in 2011. Expect a setting that’s both festive and whimsical, featuring art installations, roving performers, cheap drinks and DJ sets that run late into the night. Guests dress to the nines, whatever the theme: Steampunk glamour, circus riot, faux fur or neon bling. It’s time to dust off that vintage.
Beer trend: cocktails
Imagine a drink with all the charm of a beer yet the nuanced flavor profile of a cocktail — what’s not to love? The michelada, a Mexican beer doctored up with everything from Worcestershire sauce to fresh lime juice, made a splash this summer. But we hope more venues press on in the direction of JoeDoe (45 E. 1st St., 212-780-262), which offers nine unique beer libations, or Vandaag (103 Second Ave., 212-253-0470), which serves innovative “bier cocktails.”
Most anticipated debut: Le Baron
Word has it that the pop-up Art Basel Miami edition of Le Baron, the somewhat infamous Parisian nightclub, was off the hook. If even a smidge of that hype makes its way north when Le Baron opens in Chinatown (32 Mulberry St.) in early 2011 — and we expect it will — then we’re in for a wild New York nightlife scene. Beauty, decadence, outrageously overpriced Champagne. We say, Bring it on.