Behind the scenes of the underground hot spot of the moment with mixologist Niccole Trzaska.
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When nightlife master Nur Khan opened the Electric Room last year at the Dream Downtown hotel, it became an immediate draw for the fashion crowd, with top DJs spinning in a small, parlor-style room that combines Chesterfield sofas and an ornate fireplace with street art on the walls. There aren’t many bars that do as much to make you feel as though you’ve arrived at the inner sanctum. The woman responsible for keeping the crowd well lubricated is Niccole Trzaska, who’s been tending bar since she was 17 and has seen just about everything the city’s after-hours VIPs might throw her way.
Signature drink: It really depends on your mood. If you are just looking to hang with friends and chill out, I’d suggest the Ginger Towers, which is our take on Moscow Mule. It’s made with Grey Goose vodka, fresh ginger, fresh mint, and ginger beer, so it’s really refreshing. But if it’s a Friday or Saturday night, I’d recommend the Evil Embrace, which is sort of like a passion fruit kamikaze. It has Stoli Vanil, Licor 43, passion fruit puree, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and loose mint leaves.
Favorite NYC hangouts: I really like Employees Only, but if I am going out to eat, I like Uva on the Upper East Side for Italian cuisine with rustic decor. For Mexican food, Mercadito is one of my favorites. I also have to recommend the food here at the Dream Downtown. Our chef, Manuel Treviño, makes a cross-breed of Mexican and Italian cuisines, and he has a lot of passion for what he does. You can feel that when you eat here.
Go-to hangover remedy: A Bloody Maria made with Reposado tequila—because it’s not too sharp and has a nice, smoky flavor—with a nice big chunk of bacon in it.
The art of the Party: It’s all about the show—you can’t let people see behind the curtain. Every night here is like putting on a different Broadway production: mapping out who is going to be there, which people are important, where they are seated, and what you give them. This is the smallest room of the building, but I always make sure our team has a grasp of what’s going on throughout the hotel, because you never know.
For a good time at the Electric Room…You determine whether or not you will have a good time. You create your own experience based on the way you act and speak; you always have a choice. If you stand at the bar for long enough, someone will always come to you. But if you notice the bartender has her head in the trenches, just say, “Hi, excuse me, how are you? Can you get me such-and-such?" Just be polite.
Beware: About three times a night, a drunk girl will be leaning against the bar, trying to flirt with a guy and not paying attention to the candles behind her, and her hair will go up in flames.