Thad Vogler, the owner of Bar Agricole, and his crew opened this spare, sophisticated Trou restaurant/bar in 2014 in a lofty, historic downtown building. The core of the drink menu is the pours of house-selected barrels of armagnac, cognac and calvados. It has become a destination for fans—or would-be fans—of French brandies who also seek straightforward but expertly made cocktails.
THE DRINK TO DRINK: The Jersey City shows off calvados to understated tropical effect with pineapple gum syrup and absinthe. On the sparkling side, the Sleepyhead is a balanced apéritif of armagnac, ginger, mint and Champagne.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: The food is its own draw, especially the dramatic platters of house-made charcuterie that breathe life into a long-overdone category.