Published on September 19th, 2012 | by Dipsology0
Opening Night: Pouring Ribbons
One of the most anticipated openings of the fall, Pouring Ribbons opened its door this past Friday the 14th. Having closely followed their progress on Twitter for the past few months (and thoroughly enjoying Trivia Thursdays, where each week a new semi-obscure cocktail question is put to the masses), naturally we were there, along with our friends from over at Bored & Thirsty.
Co-owners Troy Sidle & Joaquín Simó behind the bar
Pouring Ribbons eschews the speakeasy vibe of hidden entrances, dark lit booth seating and low level jazz music, opting instead for a clearly labeled door – complete with besuited bouncer and a legit ID scanner – a large, well lit upstairs room with, gasp, a window, and a soundtrack that includes the Kooks and the Black Keys. The decor is all blue and wood with a beautiful long bar along one wall and a mixture of booths, high and low tables around the rest of the space. It’s a great spot to go when you want an incredible cocktail, minus the intense cocktail bar scene.
The menu includes 15 house and 15 classic cocktails which are all plotted on a handy chart on a scale of Refreshing to Spirituous and Comforting to Adventurous. (Naturally I scanned the page for the most adventurous ones.) The drinks are top notch, as expected, but the hidden gem is the vintage Chartreuse selection carefully curated by partner Troy Sidle – whose recent staff teach-in on the subject apparently lasted 3 1/2 hours after being pared down by half. Bottles of the yellow and green liqueurs are available by the 1/2 ounce and include selections such as 1950’s Green Chartreuse at $75 an ounce. We’re going to start saving now.
There are snacks curated by the good folks at Beecher’s Cheese (who are also providing cheese for our launch party next week!) including cured meats, hummus and s’mores as well as their eponymous dairy products.
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the team behind our new go-to spot: Alchemy Consulting. Joaquín Simó, Jason Cott, Toby Maloney and Troy Sidle have been consulting on bar programs around the country, including Chicago’s Violet Hour and NYC’s own Bar Seven Five in the FiDi, for years, and Simó is also a longtime veteran of Death & Co a few blocks away. The bar was a long time coming, but in our opinion well worth the wait. Stay tuned for a full interview with these gentlemen coming soon.
What we drank:
Death & Taxes (Dorothy Parker Gin, lemon, Clear Creek Blue Plum Brandy, lavender-infused Cinzano Bianco, grapefruit bitters): A lighter gin drink that skewed toward refreshing and adventurous on the chart, with crisp citrus, floral notes and a bitter underlay.
Dueling Banjos (Weller Special Reserve Bourbon, lemon, Eagle Rare Bourbon, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao, corn milk, mint): This drink came with a veritable forest of mint for you to sink your nose into every time you took a sip. It was the fan favorite, and went down very easily…
Sweet Valley High (Tanqueray No. Ten Gin, Cocchi Americano, St Germain, Grapefruit bitters): Yes, it’s named for the book series. Ladies around the age of 25 you know what I mean. Rumor has it Joaquín created this cocktail at Death & Co after being inspired by a group of cheerleader types who came in for drinks. It’s pink and comes with a lovely lemon peel garnish, but the pretty facade is belied by the bitter finish. It might be an allegory for the ladies who inspired it, but I’m not sure it’s what I’d serve them.
Green and Yellow Chartreuse, VEP: These Chartreuses have been aged four years, giving them a richer more intense herbal flavor. We recommend you grab a seat at the bar and ask Troy to give you a crash course. (Pro tip: be sure to ask him why Green Chartreuse is green.)