Wassail Fact SheeT
WASSAIL is a vegetable-focused restaurant and cider bar at 162 Orchard Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side. It is the second restaurant from husband and wife team Ben Sandler and Jennifer Lim who opened The Queen Kickshaw in Astoria, Queens. For this venture, they teamed-up with Sabine Hrechdakian, a lead producer of Cider Week NY, who was instrumental in building the market for cider in New York City.
The beverage program features an extensive selection of cider-based cocktails and 15 draught lines, with 12 dedicated to a rotating selection ciders, 2 to beer, 1 to a seasonal cocktail, and 1 to sweet cider. Cider Director Daniel Pucci, formerly Sommelier and Manager at Eataly and Otto, has also curated a 100 bottle selection of ciders, perries, aperitif ciders, pommeau, calvados and ice cider from all over the world, along with a selection of natural wines and craft beers.
Head Bartender Jade Sotack, formerly of Pouring Ribbons and Terroir, has created a unique cocktail program that draws inspiration from historic cider and apple brandy based cocktails like:
• Liquid Sword (with rosé, apple brandy, Castañon sidra);
• Wassail (with mulled cider, madeira, pear brandy);
• Lady in Red (Calvados, lemon, Cointreau).
The full beverage menu can be found here.
Chef Vinicius Campos, a native of Brazil who was most recently chef at Fitzcarraldo in Bushwick, has created a casual menu of comforting and shareable vegetable-focused dishes that showcase the versatile pairing qualities of our extensive cider and perry focused beverage program. Known for his relaxed yet well-executed cuisine, Vini's approach is to create dishes that inspire joy and conviviality when shared with friends. "For me, dining is an occasion for celebration and conversation. It's about having fun with the people around you." A natural fit for Wassail's lively bar vibe and atmosphere.
The full dinner and dessert menus can be found here.
A private dining room that seats 22 for sit-down dinner and 35+ for standing, will be a hub for many educational cider-related activities like: Cidermaker Dinner Series where acclaimed cidermakers from across the country will have their ciders paired with a four-course menu. Other events include a Special Release Series where cidermakers share limited release or one-off ciders at Wassail.
The interior—designed by architects Maria Berman and Bradley Horn of Berman Horn Studio whose other restaurants include Maysville, Txikito, and Char No. 4—marries the gritty urban roots of New York’s Lower East Side with the historical cider making traditions and rituals of colonial era New England and Europe. This mix of modern and historical influences mirrors the food and beverage programs creating a seamless and distinctive experience that feels at once new and comforting.
The latest event listings can be found here.
An ancient word derived from Old Norse, over the centuries Wassail has meant a salutation, a drink and a song. For cider lovers and apple growers in the West Country of England, it is a wintertime ritual blessing for apple trees. Wassail is about conviviality, sharing food and drink, and on this particular spot on Orchard Street, paying homage to the ghosts of the orchards that once grew here.
Address: 162 Orchard Street, New York NY, 10002
Phone: (646) 918-6835
Reservations: Via OpenTable
Hours of operation: Mon-Thurs: 5pm to 1am; Fri: 5pm to 2am; Sat: 3pm to 2am; Sun: 3pm to 1am
Social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
SELECT PRESS MENTIONS
"You can tell when restaurateurs’ choices are based on cold market calculus and when they’re driven by passion. If the passions are good ones, they can become contagious. Wassail is a Lower East Side restaurant that is deeply devoted to hard cider. After circling back again and again since it opened early this spring, I’ve fallen under cider’s spell, and Wassail’s, too." - New York Times (Pete Wells)
"Cider is undeniably having a moment in America, one that bears resemblance to the state of California wine a century ago. Jon Bonné on the current cider revival, and the guy (Dan Pucci) who has become a symbol of where it might lead." - Punch
"Cider is surely having its moment. Already one of the fastest-growing alcoholic beverages in America today, the drink further elevated its stature with the opening of Wassail earlier this year. The elegant bar and vegetarian eatery on the Lower East Side is the city's first space wholly devoted to cider drinks — more than a dozen on tap, and many more on an extensive bottle list." Best Cider Bar (2015) - Village Voice
"Wassail has a dozen hard ciders on draft, five by the glass and more than 80 in bottles, from cider makers in Chile, England, France, Ireland, Spain and the United States. The bar (on Orchard Street, appropriately enough) is the bricks-and-mortar affirmation of a fermented-cider revival..." – New York Times (Robert Simonson)
"Falling Up, with bourbon, apple brandy, Cynar, lemon, fresh ginger, and port... was astonishingly delicious. Have two, have three, and go a-wassailing all the way home." – New Yorker
"Right now we’re really excited about the newest addition to the national scene: New York City’s Wassail." – Bon Appétit
"In the realm of spirits, cider is the overlooked wallflower; not as crowd-pleasing as beer or as effortlessly cool as the cocktail. But now the underrated sip gets its due at this glowing pocket-sized den on Orchard Street..." – Time Out NY
A more extensive listing of press mentions can be found here.