That's my wife's pet name, anyway, for the Slanted Door, whose bar I hadn't been to in ages. But I dropped by last week to see Erik Adkins, Cate Whalen and the gang behind the bar and was instantly reminded of why this drinks program is so special and, in my opinion, one of the best in the country. Besides the great wine list and the unusual beer list, there's always been a great reverence for the cocktail here. In fact, they're all cocktail geeks of the highest order (including Jen Colliau, who wasn't there when I stopped by), and lately they've been stepping up their game even more. Jen has been producing things under her Small Hand Foods label, like different kinds of gum syrup (for enhanced texture and flavor) and home-made orgeat (almond syrup). They've also been working on making different forms of ice (more on this in the June issue of 7x7) and, as always, collecting a lively list of classic and innovative cocktails. I had a few lovely drinks while I was there, including the Pendennis Club Cocktail (below), a classic from Kentucky (gin, apricot brandy, lime and Peychaud bitters).
Also had their take on an old-fashioned, the Whiskey Cocktail (below), with bourbon, orange peel, two kinds of bitters and a little sugar served with a giant ice cube.
There's a lot to enjoy at the Slanted Door--the food, the view, the buzz, the wine--but I recommend that you don't miss the cocktail menu.