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What to Order at New York City’s Martiny’s

It's not meant to be a packed bar, and reservations are carefully spaced out to allow guests to be pampered

by Terry Zarikian

February 14, 2024

Takuma Watanabe and Ryoko Zukeran / Photo: Courtesy of Dawen Huang

Always in pursuit of shokunin—the Japanese term used to describe an artisan who masters their profession—Takuma Watanabe, the cofounder and beverage director of Martiny’s, shares his meticulously honed craft every night in New York City. Positioned at number 29 on the list of North America’s 50 Best Bars, Martiny’s also won Best New U.S. Cocktail Bar at the Spirited Awards. Previously head bartender of pioneering cocktail lounge Angel’s Share, Watanabe chose to venture out on his own, embracing the art of hospitality by paying attention to and anticipating each customer’s needs.

Watanabe preparing a Grand Martiny / Photo: Courtesy of Todd W Coleman

Although Watanabe is an actual martini fan, the bar’s name also pays homage to French-American sculptor Philip Martiny, whose studio used to occupy the space. While respecting the structure’s original 1800s carriage-house history, modern Japanese elements are incorporated throughout the space to honor Watanabe’s influences from training across Japan.

Martiny’s is not meant to be a packed bar, and reservations are carefully spaced out to allow guests to be pampered as each drink is served in paper-thin, featherweight glassware by Kimura, the prestigious Japanese company. For green tea lovers, Tea Ceremony blends matcha, Nikka Coffey Grain whiskey, cacao and coconut water. Others adore the Caprese, a clarified cocktail served on the rocks with Starward Two-Fold whiskey, tomato water, grapefruit juice, basil, lime and milk.

Martiny’s interior / Photo: Courtesy of Martiny’s

I was convinced to try the B&B Gibson, and I didn’t regret it. Nikka Coffey gin, infused with black garlic and black pepper, marries well with a dash of dry vermouth, giant caper berry, and pearl-onion garnish. But the famous Grand Martiny, a joyous ruby-red concoction made with Bombay Sapphire gin, La Cigarrera Manzanilla sherry, Churchill’s port 2016, St-Germain, Hine Rare and grapes, offers a smashing burst of flavor. All are ideal to pair with Wagyu steak tartare on buttery milk toast, oysters with butter cream and caviar, or the impeccable tomato, a composition of peeled sweet miniature heirlooms, grape slices, a tomato-water jelly disk and garlic-oil dressing. Sometimes, unpredictable combinations can leave everlasting impressions.