Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Juniper-Flavored Vodka

We checked out the new high-class Americana restaurant/bar 50 Plates (NW 13th and Flanders) on Friday night, and had a smashing time. Banker by day/writer, smartass and cocktailian extraordinaire by night Lance Mayhew (My Life on the Rocks) helms the bar Thursday through Saturday nights, crafting classic cocktails to please purists' palates as well as those of the Bridge and Tunnel crowd: In addition to the excellent Sazerac carried by blossomy-fresh lemon, not to mention the textbook-perfect Julep, there is a daily special "mojito of the moment," and we hear a bubblegum martini is in the works. The night we were there, a lady came in who professed to hate gin. Lance made her a Last Word ("It's made with juniper-flavored vodka," he said - what a jerk), she thought it was delicious, and then Lance got to the punch line and got to tell her about classic cocktails, obviously relishing every second of it.

The food menu is delightfully Betty Crocker-esque. We sampled prawns and grits with some sort of tangy red pepper tapenade type thing, fennel sausage manicotti with an uber-buttery cheese sauce, a mellow Green Goddess salad with shrimp and creamy avocado, and a perfectly balanced melon-prosciutto-blue cheese salad. Yum.

The contemporary-mod interior, with lots of dark wood and cream, low ceilings and lots of horizontal lines, achieves a nice balance of fancy and cozy, so you feel like you're having a nice night out without being on display. Smack dab in the middle of the Pearl, it's an equally great place for a post-work stiff one or a manicure-and-martini afternoon - the Aveda institute is right next door. In fact, the more I think about it, the more reasons there are to drop in for a drink. Somebody stop me. I'll see you there.

1 comment:

Calamityville said...

I thought this was hilarious! Way to go Mr. Mayhew!