You can try something that you’ll never have the opportunity to try (again) in your lifetime.”
Sparrow + Wolf’s Brian Howard is referring to five bottles of rare spirits he recently acquired from legendary local chef Andre Rochat’s private collection. Rochat, who has spent a lifetime collecting prized cognacs and Armagnacs, is preparing to auction off most of them after closing his fine-dining restaurants Alize at The Palms and Andre’s in The Monte Carlo. He’s passed on a handful of bottles, however, to close friends and proteges such as Howard. Some are now available at the younger chef’s award-winning Chinatown restaurant.
Guests at Sparrow + Wolf can enjoy two-ounce pours of 1964 Chateau de Briat, 1960 Larressingle, and a rare Chateau de Tariquet (all Armagnacs), as well as a Pedro Ximenez PX 1961 sherry. But the crown jewel is an 1848 reserve cognac from the private collection of the late Jacques Hardy — one of only 25 bottles produced. To make it accessible to as many customers as possible, in addition to full pours, he’s offering smaller samples by the milliliter.
Beyond providing his guests something unique, Howard hopes the offerings will continue a tradition Rochat started in 1980, when he opened the original Andre’s downtown.
“For me,” he explains, “it’s carrying on that legacy of what Andre was doing.”