With so many ways to frolic in New York City, why leave the five boroughs for a night out? That was the question that I asked myself as I was in a car to Le Malt.
Le Malt is a luxury wine and spirits lounge in Colonia, New Jersey. It brings out some of the top names in wines and spirits to create sensory experiences for its patrons. I could not for the life of me understand why a lounge like this was in a random part of New Jersey. I found out it’s because the location is central to New Jersey residents and it’s only about an hour from New York City.When I made my way into Le Malt, it felt like I was in a speakeasy minus the wise guys. The sleek lounge has a library of 1,000 brown spirits from cognacs, bourbons, whiskies, scotches to rums. It looks like a spirit museum as bottles are displayed in glass cases around the lounge. There isn’t a bar in the lounge. Drink carts are rolled up for table side cocktail service.
The night that I went to experience Le Malt was for a Hennessy Cognac Tasting paired with a three course meal. I knew very little about cognac so I was excited for a night of good grub and education. After kicking things off with passed appetizers and Henny cocktails the tasting was on the way. An ambassador for the cognac lead us through a two hour interactive tasting.
The James Beard House featured lounge served up food by Chef Duke Estime. The dishes served for the pairings come on small plates, however they were filling. I opted for the steak entree. I’m a big fan of red meat paired with brown spirits. It was the perfect pairing with Hennessy Paradis. In French, “paradis” means paradise. I think my taste buds would agree. On any other night it would have cost $600 for a glass of Paradis. Don’t know about you, but I don’t roll like that every night. I couldn’t believe that it was a part of a three course tasting that cost only $75.
Tastings normally sell out at Le Malt, which doesn’t surprise me. Now I know what the buzz it all about. Le Malt has the vibe of the city without the crazy Manhattan price tag. It’s a great date spot, especially to impress someone. It’s also a good place to chill with friends outside of the city. Regular customers receive a sleek black membership card. It gives access to book one of the member’s only spaces in the back of the lounge free of charge.
Basically anyone can be a baller at Le Malt without being a multi-millionaire. It’s definitely a luxurious experience whether you go for a tasting or go for a night on the town.