So of course, willing to sacrifice all for the show, I've not only been thinking about drinking, I went out on a short but memorable trip last night to sample a few new -- both old and unfamiliar. We went to ten-year-old Bluestem, always terrific food and drink and now with a complete new do. But about that later. I wanted to try Julep, at 4141 Pennsylvania. My opinion? Julep is a very stylin', very happenin' place even if no one says stylin' or happenin' anymore.
Julep is just up (north) the street from Ça Va, the very cool champagne bar which is where Bill and I met owners/spouses Keely Edgington and Beau Williams who, a couple months ago, were excited to soon be opening. As an unnecessary but telling side-note, when Ça Va was almost overwhelmed opening night, Beau jumped in, got behind the bar and started pouring. Very impressive. Sure, he worked at Manifesto and knows how to pour a drink, but he's also apparently just a really good guy.
ANYWAY, take a look at that bar!! If you enjoy really fine cocktails, you should show-up here. Early, when you can hear yourself talk, like when we were there, or later, when it's far more packed. The drinks were seriously good. I didn't get a julep, though there are three on the menu, but woman down a few tables from us was having one and it looked really good, full of enough ice to crunch to make me happy. I did become convinced, the first time I ever drank mint juleps, that they alone gave the South the courage to declare war on the Union. This is not a popularly held or historically valid view I've been told.
We did try the three drinks pictured above and each one was delicious. I tried my best to slip slowly. Which is how they meant to be imbibed as they are potent. But they're not huge, which helps. There are 16 drinks on the menu which includes a market cocktail of the day which last night was a mojito for $7. They have three "quick fixes" otherwise known as boilermakers. I also like that you can get wine here -- 4 whites, 3 reds, a sparkling, and a rosé, which I'm really glad is popular again.
If you're not, or even if you are, drinking, there's a small menu of good things to eat, developed by Rye's chef de cuisine, John Brogan. There are seven small plates and we tried the almost southern style pimento cheese for an appetizer which was served with good toasted sour dough slices and pickled okra. Then we split the prosciutto, pimento, and arugula sandwich which was paninied and thick enough and perfectly done. There are two salads, three sandwiches, and two desserts -- it's all enough, and they're all on the back page, where they should be given the focus of the place.
Julep is definitely on my list of go-backs. I want to try the vanilla panna cotta with cherries and shortbread and may start with that and a drink one of the very competent bartenders suggests that would go with it. I am sure they know.
If you want to hear all about cocktails, don't miss us on the radio tomorrow, 10 a.m. -- we'll start on the drinks at about 10:30. Then, once we've said it all and I wander to my car, I'll wonder if 11 a.m. is too soon to start for real.
No, REALLY, I never drink that early!