Last August, Great Jones Distilling Co. opened its doors in the Noho neighborhood of Manhattan. It became the first legal whiskey distillery since the advent of Prohibition in 1920.
There are three places to eat: The Grid, which is helmed by Adam Raksin; a cocktail bar (pictured); and a speakeasy-style tasting room downstairs.
The cocktail lounge — with views of Manhattan’s Broadway — leads into an event space that happens to double as the distillery.
With a copper Vendome 500-gallon still made by Kentucky’s Vendome Copper as the centerpiece of the entire four-story, 28,000-square foot building, the distillery functions as the heart of the operation during the day and turns into an event space at night.
The head distiller is Celina Perez, who works closely with Raksin to develop food pairings and menu items for The Grid.
Raksin, a Maryland native, brings his classical training to the restaurant that he started several years ago (it was thwarted by COVID.) Raksin has been in New York City for 15 years working as a chef at restaurants including Le Cirque and Per Se.
He said his favorite dish on the menu is the Long Island Duck Breast, one of the newest additions. In keeping with the restaurant’s theme of using local ingredients, the duck is sourced from nearby Long Island. The dish features glazed pear and uses Raksin’s favorite of the three whiskeys — the Rye — as a finisher.
Raksin told Restaurant Hospitality that he has enjoyed working with Perez to develop complex dishes in his kitchen, and that having the distillery so close has been a bonus.
A gift shop sells three kinds of whiskey, aged between four and five years: a bourbon ($39), a rye ($39) and a four-grain bourbon ($49) made with corn, malted barley, rye and wheat. The latter two will be available only at the distillery.