There she was: a young woman with tattoos and Betty* Davis Eyes.
After all, we were drinking at Dirty Precious, a class-act bar in Gowanus (317 3rd Avenue near 1st Street) which invites you to take your good, very sweet time.
We’ll get back to the young woman with the tattoo, because she may or may not have some company later on in the story…
The highbrow/lowbrow cocktail bar opened up at the tail-end of March this year and is co-owned by Shana Sandberg, Amy Cole, and Katipai Richardson-Wilson.
“We’re trying to create a local bar where you can get a great cocktail, or a sh-tty beer if you want one,” Richardson-Wilson told DNAinfo.
And that’s what you get, although Modelo — the most inexpensive brew on the menu ($4) — isn’t that shitty at all to me. Especially when you pair it with a shot of tequila (add $4).
Dirty Precious features an L-shaped bar, plenty of tables for group seating, and a few stand-and-drink tables. It’s an excellent layout that’s both airy and intimate at the same time. Kudos to those who lit the space, a reminder that atmosphere succeed or fails bases on the lighting.
We were in the cocktail mode that evening, and the strait-laced young gent next us ordered a Cloud Atlas ($11), which is described on the menu as a “horrible movie/great drink.” He sipped this combo of tequila, sotol, suze, cucumber, and lime.
As he nursed his Cloud Atlas, the strait-laced gent eyed Ms. Betty Davis Eyes around the corner.
We’ll get back to them later.
After all, we had to focus on our cocktails. There are a lot of options.
My lovely date chose the Spring Fever ($11), a combo of gin, yellow chartreuse, thieves vinegar (no need for purell tonight), and kalamansi honey. It’s a bit sweeter than you’d think, but refreshing nonetheless.
The High Tides ($11) was my choice for a balmy September evening, a mélange of vodka, gin, lime, guarana, and seltzer. Sharp, a bit spicy. Nice and tart. Hit the spot.
We opted out of the One Night Stand ($12). Here are the ingredients:
Look into the bartender’s eyes. Tell them your deepest desires. Fall in love with a thing in the glass. Think about it the next day. Or don’t. Life is short. Take big gulps.
If you’re like me, you may be scratching your head over some of these ingredients. Not to worry — the bartender is happy to explain them to you without a hint of snobbiness. The experience is the equivalent of walking into a record store and having the owner behind the counter talk with you about Captain Beefheart and Can without feeling as if you’re a nudnik.
And there’s food.
DP’s menu is full of somewhat high-brow versions of traditionally low-brow munchies. The plain cheese toasties ($7) comes with chutney. Add ham ($1) and/or tomato ($1) should you like.
Cheese straws, salads, “pickled things,” bowls of meatballs, and gruyere mac n’ cheese ($10) are also available.
Oh, and boards. The canned fish platter (not my favorite name) comes with preserved sardines and Runner & Stone rye ($8). And the larger Antipasto platter ($16) is good to split amongst a group.
DP is a good stop for both couples as well as groups. First dates would work just as well here as a meetup with friends you bumped into a few doors down at Baba’s Pierogies. It’s your choice whether you want it casual or intimate.
So what ever happened to Cloud Atlas gent and Ms. Betty Davis Eyes with the tattoos?
Well, I never would have guessed it, but they were having a fine ol’ flirtatious repartee in the corner of the bar. Opposites, indeed, do attract.
We’ll be returning to this fantastic jewel. There are simply too many cocktails that make me curious.
Speaking of, DP serves Cooper’s Creek Sav Blanc, which they describe as “cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush.” I’d be happy to buy you a glass so you can tell me what you think.
Oh, and to Ms. Betty Davis Eyes and Mr. Cloud Atlas: if you’re reading this, tell us how it worked out.
I’ll drink to that.
*While the famous actress’ first name is spelled “Bette,” the cocktail on the menu is spelled “Betty.”
The Drinks Rundown: Dirty Precious
Where: 317 3rd Avenue (near 1st Street)
Hours: 5pm-2am everyday, (check on holidays though)