Master Mixologist: Simon Sebbah of THE WALLACE LOUNGE on the Upper West Side

Master Mixologist: Simon Sebbah of THE WALLACE LOUNGE

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Simon Sebbah tells our Broadwayworld readers about his background!

I've been in the hospitality and bar industry for over 15 years. To sum up my bartending career, which started 13 years ago back in London, I've received training in some of the most successful bars in The World's 50 Best, such as: Bathtub Gin (New York); Angel's Share (New York); Dandelyan (United Kingdom); and Lyaness (United Kingdom).

Since 2016, I've been the Global Bar Director for Spring Place, a multi-awarded membership club that is also the main partner of NYFW, the TriBeCa Film Festival, and the Independent Art Fair. In my time there, I've had the privilege and honor to collaborate with the most successful restaurants and bars in the world, leading bar programs such as cocktails, wine and champagne pairings for: Chef Mauro Colagreco at Mirazur (#1 at World's 50 Best Restaurants); Chef Bryce Shuman during his time at Eleven Madison Park; and Chef Takayoshi Watanabe of Teruzushi, among many others.

Some of my biggest inspirations and mentors I have had the pleasure to learn from and work alongside for many years include: Bryan Woody (GM of Gordon Ramsay Group, Director of F&B of The Ritz-Carlton); Olivier Lordonnois (GM of The Mark Hotel for 9 years, CEO of Spring Place, COO of Core Club); Iain Griffiths; and Ryan Chetiyawardana, also known as Mr. Lyan. The past three years of my life have been dedicated to work with Ryan Chetiyawardana and Iain Griffiths, two of the most successful and respected bartenders and owners of our industry.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Simon about his career and The Wallace Lounge for our "Master Mixologist" feature.

When did you first become interested in the cocktail culture?

When I was living in London, about 15 years ago, I was working in a Michelin starred restaurant called Chelsea Brasserie. I was a busser at the time trying to improve my English and my station was in the backend of the restaurant between the kitchen pass and the bar. Every night, I would see this magnificent bartender putting on a show, all dressed up, being so chic and classy making drinks; that's when I knew.

What innovations in mixology and bartending do you find fascinating?

Using new techniques to create flavors, the R&D to develop new programs is the thing I find the most exciting.

How do restaurant and bar guests encourage your creativity?

My background has been heavily focused on crafted cocktails working at some of the World's 50 Best Bars, and now I can happily rest and create a simple program with the most sophisticated way of doing it. It is really enjoyable seeing guests appreciating the hard work behind it.

What are your preferred "classic cocktails" and why?

I like strong, "sipping" cocktails like a Negroni, Martinez, etc. Just because they reflect what a cocktail should be, something that you slowly sip and enjoy.

What are some of your favorite infusions and how you like to use them in drinks.

One of my favorite things to do is once I juiced my citrus (limes/lemons/grapefruits/oranges), I keep the skins and place all of them into a large container. To the total mass, I add sugar and salt and let it all rest for about 48 hours at room temperature. Once the solids turn into liquid, I strain everything through chinois and coffee filters (sometimes linen too), and it gives me a honey texture that is extremely acidic, salty, and sweet at the same time. In that case, the sugar serves as a conservator and the salt as an extractor of flavors. I use that in a tiniest amount into some margaritas or any cocktails I'd use lime or citrus in general.

Tell us about a few of your signature cocktails and why they are distinctive.

I like to play around with ingredients more than I like to create cocktails, for example, how to make the best version of a martini creating my own brine and working on the proportions to have the most balanced drink. Or, using that super citrus recipe from the question above to have a funkier texture in a cosmopolitan. But I do have a few signature cocktails that I really like to use in many venues because these are the fruits of my thinking while pairing food and drinks or recreating famous dishes into a drinkable version.

Give us your perfect pairing for a cocktail and a culinary selection.

Either a Martini and Oysters; Old Fashioned and Cheeses; or a Spritz and Charcuterie. So many good pairings out there.

Tell us a little about your company or restaurant.

The concept for The Wallace Lounge was to create a fun and easy menu of light bites in a hotel lobby setting with live piano music, complemented by an elevated cocktail and wine program. At the core of everything we do, we strive to remain thoughtful about every element of the menu from the ingredients and recipes to the plating and service of each dish and drink. As we're situated one block from the Beacon Theater and a short walk from Lincoln Center, it's the ideal location for the community to enjoy great music, cocktails, and light bites in a beautifully designed space for a night out, or as a pre-and post-theater destination.

The Wallace Lounge is located at 242 W 76th St, New York, NY 10023. For more information, menus, and hours of operation, visit

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Simon Sebbah and The Wallace Lounge


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