While I occasionally make a few exceptions to this rule, I generally don’t review cocktail bars that are just cocktail bars. And indeed, that’s the case with Drink. Located in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, downstairs from Sportello (which I reviewed in 2012, and is owned by the same folks), Drink is primarily a cocktail bar, but they do have a limited bar menu. And while that bar menu has a few gems, that’s not why I’m reviewing them; instead, it’s one particularly off-the-menu item that drew my attention.
As I’ve mentioned a few times on here, I generally prefer not to review a place if the reason I went there was a special event. However, some places (like the Cabane a Sucre a few months ago) are special event only, and in other cases (like the The Corner House Inn), the nature of the special event isn’t directly food related, and I’ve got a reasonable expectation of being able to have a similar menu item on a regular visit. In the case of PINE, we went there for a special Friends of Laphroaig Scotch Dinner, and ended being very impressed with the food as well.
Every year we do a “Death March” in which we visit a large city, and hike our way through it visiting different tourist sites, and checking out the local food options, usually with around 20 miles of hiking. This April, the destination was Washington, DC. But we arrived two days before the March, pulling into Union Station at 8pm. Being hungry, we decided to check out the area around Union Station for dinner. While I’ve been to Chinatown several times, I was looking for something a bit different, and it wasn’t very far from Union Station that we found Art and Soul.
Corner House Inn Recently, I had an odd confluence of invites to an event. You see, it’s not every day when I get notices of a special event from (a) the mailing list of the Tamworth Lyceum, a small NH events center (b) the mailing list of a local distillery, (c) a notice from a mixologist I follow on twitter, the “Cocktail Whisperer” and (d) a specific mention of the event by Klaus the Soused Gnome. I figured that the confluence was a sign that I simply had to attend the event: an evening of cocktails at the Corner House Inn in Center Samdwich, NH, hosted by the Tamworth Lyceum and Art in the Age distilled spirits. Despite the rather remote (for us) location, we decided to make a day of it, check out some sights around Lake Winnipesaukee, and end up at what’s basically a pleasant country tavern in the quiet back roads of rural NH. Pairing Menu I’m usually a bit reluctant to review a place that I’ve only attended for a special event, since special events usually don’t show what a normal visit to a place is like (and often, especially for holidays, show places when they don’t have their A game). But this particular event was so remarkably, well, awesome, that it required a writeup. Bitters The concept was simple: a four course tasting menu, with each course paired with a custom cocktail. But therein lies the secret: these weren’t your regular cocktails, but custom-crafted concoctions made by Warren Bobrow, author of Apothecary Cocktails, and featuring high-end ingredients, hand-chipped block ice, unusual infusions, and, bitters. Indeed, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen another collection of bitters as extensive as that brought by Warren (and that includes visits to such well-stocked stores as Boston Shaker in Somerville, MA). All available for tasting and customization of your cocktails. Klaus meets one of my gnomes The event was off to a solid start right away, with us arriving in the dining room to Warren chipping away at a block of ice and making Root and Ryes: a pleasant cocktail based upon Knob Creek Rye and