Let’s be honest: there’s no shortage of places to grab an apéritif, or late night drink, in the West Village. You can’t throw a stone without hitting a bar, and if you frequent the neighborhood often, you likely already have a favorite.
That said, the newly-opened Bosco, a craft cocktail bar on the corner of Bleecker and Sullivan, is presenting a strong case for why it should be your new go-to. That’s thanks largely to its carefully curated cocktail menu, unpretentious bites, vibey (and highly Instagrammable) atmosphere and, not least of all, its prime location at 169 Bleecker.
Bosco opened earlier this month and is operated by the same team behind the ever-popular local hangout, Tara Rose. In Bosco, however, the name of the game is imaginative cocktails and, more importantly, personalized guest experiences.
“Bosco is inspired by family and the shared experience of dining,” says owner Kevin Doherty. “Growing up with a tight-knit family in Ireland, we would see this spirit of hospitality through our parents, who would host parties and dinners, where they made sure everyone was looked after and that no one ever had a dry glass.”
With this spirit of family and togetherness in mind, we wanted to then take that essence and imbue it in a fun, unpretentious cocktail lounge that would feature creative drinks and also simple, great food that pairs well with the cocktails,” he adds.
Of course, at Bosco they’re slinging the classics: mojitos, spicy margaritas and aperol spritzes; but there’s an abundance of cocktails of the more singular variety, too, and it’s here where Bosco really shines.
Fusing influence from American, Irish and Mexican cultures, award-winning mixologist Stephen Wynne has designed a menu that counts drinks like the “Mo Chara” (Gaelic for “My Friend”), which consists of Lost Irish whiskey, ginger and lime sherbet, falernum and bitters; and the “Sodi Sour Mezcal” is made from vanilla orgeat, lime and egg whites among its signature drinks. Others, like “the Diversity Tequila” (which is made using aperol, yellow chartreuse, lime, orange and marmalade), are Wynne’s takes on well-liked cocktails (in this case, a Paper Plane).
My personal favorite was “The Artist,” which has emerged as one of Bosco’s most popular cocktails. It’s comprised of purple mezcal, fino sherry, aperol, lemon sherbet and a fruity pebbles garnish. And while I tend to prefer my espresso martinis (and all other martinis, for that matter) with vodka, I’ll happily make an exception for Wynne’s rendition — the tequila-based “Mexpresso Martini” — any day.
Every good cocktail menu needs a food menu to match. Bosco’s errs on the Mexican side, but with a few surprises. Described as “Latin-American street food,” the fare was created by consulting chef, Chef Alan Delgado who previously served as the chef de cuisine and director of recipe and development at Brooklyn’s Michelin-starred Oxomoco and sister restaurant Xilonen.
Although you can — and should — get tacos, in the name of simplicity, I started with the papas fritas (with jalapeño mayo, of course), the chips and guac (let’s just say, they don’t skimp on the quac) and for my main, I opted for the Caesar salad. Despite being what one might consider an underwhelming order, I found Delgado’s variations light, refreshing, flavorful and, above all, complimentary to my cocktails of choice. It’s no surprise that Bosco has, in just a few short weeks, already started establishing a returning clientele.
“[It’s been] hectic to say the least!” Doherty says. “But a good hecticness, as we’re receiving positive feedback from guests. Also, super-thankful for our neighbors and the local community, who have warmly welcomed us into their fold in the West Village.”
Already looking to the future, Doherty adds: “We’re looking forward to introducing some additions this fall as well as some seasonal changes to the drink and food menu. We’ve also unveiled a spacious outdoor space so people can enjoy the remaining summer days and early fall season. How time flies!”
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