The Standard Pour raised the standard … again. Oh Hey Dallas and I were lucky enough to be invited into TSP to indulge in some of the craft cocktail den’s new menu items and cocktails. Long story very short … we’ll be back.
I arrived a little late (sorry, OHD!) and plopped down after an insane day at work in dire need of strong drink. We had a table by the windows to the patio (which is delightful with the huge awning and fire wall), which gave me a nice view of the generously-stocked bar, complete with infused liquors, flavored bitters, and any (high-end) alcohol that you could want.
Our chatty waitress went over the options for the night, then beckoned the barkeep who got the run-down of our likes and dislikes. As some of you may know from past reviews, I do NOT enjoy the tequila. Upon hearing my dislike for the spirit, the barkeep’s eye twinkled a bit, he turned on his heels, and scurried back to the bar (which made me nervous). I should mention that, on this very special night, Eddie “Lucky” Campbell was guest bartending (a lucky night to venture in).
Our first drink was an “amuse” drink (I suppose an amuse bouche cocktail-style … but as I mentioned, I was late so I missed the run-down on this one). The small sipper was a delicate mix of cranberry cider and mulled wine—not too overpowering and very festive. I will say that I love the idea of legitimate before—dinner drinks and I may now consider aperitifs more often.
My first proper cocktail was right up my alley, The Derby (Maker’s Mark, Cointreau, sweet vermouth, lime juice). I LOVED this cocktail and had to be careful not to drink too much for fear of passing out on the walk home from all the deliciousness (read many many drinks). Not drinking too much of this beauty was a struggle as it was stinkin’ delicious.
My second drink was a tequila drink which I got because, and I quote, “the bartender likes a challenge.” Dubbed the Jalisco Cocktail, I actual drank a good portion of this one. I was amazed (seriously) … it was delicious (Siembra Azul Reposado, Curacao, almond raisin syrup, lemon, and angostura). The cocktail had just enough tequila to give it an exotic feel, but it was very mild.
After my eye-opening tequila experience, OHD was served the Bitter Gin Mule (Lucky’s random creation of the evening), which was incredibly smooth for a bourbon drink. (Non-southern) ladies averse to whiskey could drink this and enjoy it. I may or may not have stolen this drink to finish myself.
Another delight was the Garden and Gun (Sapphire Gin, pepper puree, celery shrub, chili syrup), a unique version of the bloody Mary with a kick. The celery shrubº gave a lightness to the drink where it could have been heavy with the puree and chili syrup. Speaking of the syrup, the pepper puree was deliciously spicy.
My last (but certainly not least) drink was the Sazerac Swiss something-or-other which was a cocktail that isoff-menu, but the simple Sazerac contains Sazerac Rye, simple syrup, perchauds, Absinthe, and lemon peel. The Sazerac is a classic prohibition-style cocktail with balanced yet bold flavors that will knock you on your hiney*. The bitters and rosemary in this drink really were a great combination that made it very easy to drink, and noticeably pooooo-tent.
I’d had drinks at TSP before my recent visit, but never food. I quickly learned what I was missing out on by not having eaten here yet. We had risotto croquettes (omg), one of the five best cheese plates I’ve ever had the joy of feasting on, the Airline Chicken Breast, Ahi Tuna Sausage, chicken strips (heck* to the yes), and another kind of ahi tuna. Our waitress wouldn’t let us leave the table without trying the eggnog bread pudding … and I’m so glad she did! Any dessert that involves booze is my jam, and this one had a delightful amount of egg nog soaked in the bread.
To get more detail about the food, check out OHD’s post about our visit.
BOTTOM LINE: I feel like an idiot for living in walking distance of TSP and not eating there more often. I’ll be in for their chicken fingers on a regular basis … along with one (or four) of their amazing cocktails.
* My new year’s resolution is to curse less. This’ll be interesting.
º “…a shrub is an acidulated beverage made of fruit juice, sugar, and other ingredients. Where things get complicated is that the acid varies by recipe; it can be either fruit juice or vinegar. Additionally, some shrub recipes are prepared using alcohol that steeps with the fruit, acid, and sugar … In any case, the sugar, acid, and optional alcohol preserve the fruit juice, and in fact that was one original purpose of the shrub. Prior to the invention of refrigeration, a shrub syrup was a means of preserving fruit long past its picking. Shrubs were popular in Colonial America, mixed with cool water to provide a pick-me-up on hot summer days.” - seriouseats.com