The Gilroy’s 1940s aesthetic harkens back to a time when cocktail culture was in full swing across the city, when bartenders innovated and created cocktails with ingredients from around the world.
Owner Joseph D’Angelo (executive chef/owner The Copper Kettle Kitchen in Manhattan and The Copper Kettle Café in Hartsdale, and formerly of Spigolo) is now joined at The Gilroy by Bar Manager Harris Tooley, formerly of Scheib’s Place, a historic speakeasy in the East Village, and the McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea. Tooley—a tail ship sailor and history buff—combines his love of the sea and research to his creative and classic cocktails. They are joined by General Manager Drew Blumenthal (Copper Kettle Kitchen) who ensures the comfort and satisfaction of every customer.
In addition to the cozy, copper-topped and well-stocked bar, guests can make themselves comfortable at the communal table, its top made from a single piece of natural wood, tables of various sizes, and an intimate red-brocaded back room that also serves as a space for private parties.
The Gilroy is a laboratory, where the bartenders are constantly working to come up with new recipes, wild ingredients, and flavors to please a crowd that ranges from neighborhood regulars and groups of young professionals to romantic couples. It is this spirit of curiosity, invention and creativity that also makes The Gilroy a magnet for industry types, drawing chefs and other staffers from the restaurant world post-service for late night cocktails and snacks.
The menu is a big part of the draw—designed for sharing and perfect for pairing with cocktails. Enticements include a Cheese and Salumi platter for the table, which offers guests the choice to mix and match a selection of cheese, such as Hooks Triple Play Blue (a semi-firm sheep and goat’s milk blend from Wisconsin) and meats such as Jamon Serrano (ham from Spain) and Bresaola (cured air-dried beef from Italy). A specialty of the house are the Flats—rectangular beauties of freshly baked crisped dough with toppings such as crushed tomato, mozzarella, and basil pesto on the Margherita, the Ricotta with honey glazed pancetta and baby arugula, and the Housemade Chicken Sausage with gruyere, crushed tomato and charred scallions. Other crowd pleasers include Tuna Tartare, Burrata with pancetta dust, and Mac and Cheese with Irish and Vermont Cheddars and Asiago. For a truly decadent and worthwhile nightlife experience, there’s the Pork Belly Pressed Sandwich with gruyere, bacon-onion jam, and whole grain mustard or The Gilroy Wellington, filet mignon, foie gras, and mushroom with a pastry crust and red wine reduction. For dessert, there’s a thick, rich Warm Chocolate Brownie with peanut butter sauce topped with torched homemade marshmallows or Vanilla Ice Cream with banana brulee, toasted walnuts and a chocolate drizzle.
As for the specific cocktails, The Gilroy specializes in classic, bespoke and a list of Negronis—cocktails inspired by the classic apéritif, composed of one part gin, one part red vermouth, and one part Campari, garnished with an orange peel. The repertoire of Italian-inspired cocktails that stays close to the classic includes the Gilroy Negroni (Spring 44 Gin, Punt e Mes and Campari) and the White Negroni (with the sweeter, mellower Lillet Blanc, and Suze gentian bitters in addition to gin). Other “negronis” use the flavor profile as a point of reference—the daring Old Oscar features Knob Creek Bourbon instead of gin and Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, chocolate bitters and Amaro Montenegro; The Oaxaca highlights Gracias A Dios Mezcal Joven, Antica Formula, and Campari, for a smoky take on the Negroni.
Other creative cocktails include Sermon on the Barrel, winner of the 2016 Yorkville Cup, composed of Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, Suze, Dubonnet Rouge, Benedictine and wood vinegar, a beautifully, well-balanced and intriguing cocktail; and Irish Penicillin, a delicious way to battle a winter cold with Powers Irish Whiskey, honey, lemon, ginger, and Connemara Peated Irish Whiskey. The bartenders also create bespoke cocktails on the spot using various liqueurs, infusions, tinctures, bitters, and syrups, customizing a unique drink to the mood and tastes of a customer at a particular moment in time. The Gilroy also offers Prosecco and four whites and four reds by the glass or bottle, from Italy, California and New York, and a changing selection of beers on tap.