Nikhil Saliya, Author at HOBNOB Magazine

Author Archive

Red Rooster: Taking Southern Fare to its Highest Heights in Harlem

Posted on: January 8th, 2016 by Nikhil Saliya

I had my meal at the bar, and people-watched a mix of tourists, and locals—who seem to frequent the place. The atmosphere is comfortable, relaxed and unhurried. Red Rooster is a foodie bucket list spot.

Who To Take: a southerner who’s missing the local cuisine or someone who enjoys creative takes on the classics

Been meaning to go to Red Rooster since it opened, and finally made the trek. Only did a quick stop here, but the memory of the Shrimp & Grits dish still lingers…aah. I would never say I was a “grits” lover, but this dish changed my mind. It came bathed in piri piri sauce, a combination of crushed chillies, lemon, paprika, and herbs, plus an infusion of extra-flavorful cheddar. It was so decadent and luscious, I did not want the eating to end.

Chef Marcus Samuelsson has really put his heart and soul into the menu. Thanks goodness, I ordered a salad to start, so that nutritionally I was ahead of the game.

Artists infiltrate the scene in music and visual displays, check the website for details.


RED ROOSTER HARLEM, 310 Lenox Ave (just above 125th St)

Strong & Intoxicating: Cognac Cocktails

Posted on: November 2nd, 2015 by Nikhil Saliya

At the Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Cocktail Competition, Hobnob got to witness mixology in action. Savor this special spirit in these six special cognac cocktails, and pick a winner for yourself.

It’s fabulous when a brand hosts a cocktail competition and to experience all the creativity that goes with it. Louis Royer and their high-proof cognac sponsored one at Porchlight, NYC in November. The featured spirit, Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Cognac was the key ingredient in all the cocktails, and at 106 proof, did add a potent kick.

“Force 53” mixed nicely in these cocktails adding a powerful caramel apple flavor, plus notes of fresh citrus. Bartenders took these flavors into account and matched them with notes of fig, chocolate, tiki, cardamom, and more. This spirit received the Gold Medal at the San Francisco Wine & Spirits Competition. Here are the results and details for each cocktail, where six bartenders competed, much to our sipping pleasure:

HOBNOBMAG Louis Royer Cognac Cocktail Competition-

Dave Nurmi of Porchlight created the Brother Mon Frère with LR Force 53, Cappelletti, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Peychaud’s Bitter, and Salt.

HOBNOBMAG Louis Royer Cognac Cocktail Competition-

Dustin Olson of Holiday Cocktail Lounge offered the Forced Holiday with LR Force 53, Santa Teresa 1796 Rum, Amaro Ramazzotti, Giffard Banane du Bresil, and Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters.

HOBNOBMAG Louis Royer Cognac Cocktail Competition-

Gregory Buda of The Dead Rabbit, the winner of the competition came up with Book of Matthew. His cocktail was a combination of LR Force 53, Lemon Juice, Fig Cordial, Pineau des Charentes, and Dale DeGroff Pimento Bitters.

HOBNOBMAG Louis Royer Cognac Cocktail Competition-

Jeremy Hawn of Seamstress used a cute red umbrella blown inside out to adorn his cocktail. The Peach Me a Lesson was a mix of LR Force 53, Combier Creme de Peche, Creme de Violette, Lemon Juice, and Bittermens Tiki Bitters.

HOBNOBMAG Louis Royer Cognac Cocktail Competition-

Jim Palumbo of The Up and Up made the Vinyl Record with LR Force 53, Wolffer Estate Verjus, Meletti Amaro, Creme de Cacao, and Tawny Port.

HOBNOBMAG Louis Royer Cognac Cocktail Competition-

Kirsten Holloway of Pink Magnolia, the only female and bartender from Texas. She created An Isle Away, a combination of LR Force 53, Amaor Nonino, simple syrup, Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters, and Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters.

HOBNOBMAG Louis Royer Cognac Cocktail Competition-