On Friday, it looked to be pretty busy all night, with a slight lull around 8pm.
We arrived at 5:55pm for our reservation at 6pm and there was a sizable horde of people outside. It looked like chaos from afar. A bunch of parties with reservations, as well as walk-in groups being quoted a wait time of 20-30 minutes. There wasn't a clear line, so I checked in with the host outside, who had a long clipboard of names (including walk ins and requests for the Office). We huddled around an outdoor heater for a good chunk of time until they were able to seat us. We ordered two prix fixe menus, two a la carte drinks, and all of the bites over the course of 4 hours. Photos can be found here
. Interesting to note how much turnover there is in the prix fixe choices, with the first two sections being completely different from my September visit.
I first tried a delightful concoction of charred cinnamon with tequila, cynar, lemon, shaken and served over orange ice cubes. It was named Orange on the menu but didn't actually contain much orange! Smokey and a little fruity as the orange ice melted. The cynar added a nice bit of complexity. I enjoyed how the drink changed over time. I liked this but found it a bit overwhelming but my husband liked it so much, he ordered his own later on in the evening.
My husband next chose the drink currently being served in a porthole, Cider. It contained apple brandy and verjus, as well as a host of other items: cinnamon, tea, cloves, fresh sage, fresh thyme, orange peel, lemon peel, apple slices, dehydrated currants, and more, all infusing stronger into the drink as it sat. Delicious and much more fruity and sweet by the end, but I think I preferred this summer's Blueberry since the base spirit was rye, which is a stronger contrast to the infusing components.
The next cocktail was outstanding. Concord grape, port, rum, garnished with mint and Angostura orange bitter ice. Intensely flavorful and fragrant. The roundness of the port paired very well with the grape, as did the orange bitters. This was also force carbonated for a little extra fizz. A very tasty and well balanced drink.
After an In the Rocks (their old fashioned served in a giant ice sphere), I moved into dessert. Popcorn: served hot, rum and popcorn stock, topped with a salted caramel foam. This was essentially salty caramel popcorn in liquid form. Delicious but also very intense and I could only take a few sips at a time. If you like Crackerjack, you'll love this drink.
Meanwhile, my husband moved onto Amaro, served on a wooden stave, in an old fashioned glass filled with smoke, which was dramatically lifted upon serving. The cocktail contained Cocchi Americano, tequila, and their housemade flat root beer, containing 20 ingredients, and meant to emulate an Amaro. Very complex, bitter, and medicinal. A fascinating drink, especially for Amaro fans.
Our last drink of the evening was the Hot Chocolate. Served warm, it contained Honduran chocolate, ancho chili pepper, and wheat whiskey, topped with a red bell pepper foam. Unusual? Yes, to say the least! It smelled amazing and had quite a kick to it as well. So satisfying on a chilly November night.
And of the bites, we tried them all. I loved a spicy scallop ceviche served on a shell, a creamy bite of crab and avocado, hot tempura-ed apple and brie that exploded in your mouth, as well as a chocolate bite with stout and peanut that also liquidified once hitting the tongue. The standard potato, foie gras, and wagyu were delicious as well, and I believe these three are mainstays on the menu (they did not seem to have changed since September). The others were good, but not as memorable.