You can tell a lot about a bar when you order a water first. Sometimes, with graceful kindness, it appears with a smile and "please let me know if I can do anything else for you." Emerald Lounge at the Revere Hotel certainly has a late night clubby feel, but on a snowy afternoon that level of service felt more like a comfortable neighborhood bar.
Thank you Tyresse.
Equally as friendly and welcoming, is Emerald’s beverage director, Teodora Bakardzhieva, an industry veteran who has worked bars and clubs from the now shuttered Club Trio to Locke Ober to Mantra. She slips behind the bar and as quickly appears her Fig Sidecar, featuring fig infused vanilla cognac and Pineau des Charantes (fresh press grape juice where fermentation has been stopped by adding brandy). The drink is rounded out with lemon juice and a terrifically over-the-top gold sugared rim. Sure, a nod to late night club antics, but it really works. Balanced, rich caramel and fig flavors cut by lemon acidity.
Sometimes you have to go big or go home.
After a pleasant moment chatting with Bryan Barbieri the hotel's PR director, snowing, cold, we decide it's time for bourbon. Teodora had already sensed I needed a winter warmer- her Fallen Angel- with Angel's Envy bourbon (I need to do a future post on this delicious whiskey), Amaro del Capo (a bitter from Calabria- not sweet but shows orange and citrus), and honey syrup. The Angel's Envy rests for a few months in Port casks, so it's rich caramel, vanilla spice of the bourbon paired with an almost maple syrup like quality. This, the bitter and honey, make a wonderful cold weather reviver.
Emerald is highly designed from the center piece stainless sculptural work, mass art student designed uniforms, to the hidden Ruby Bar (you have to stumble upon it). The sound system is unprecedented and the room is slick- you could be in Vegas, baby. But it's all about service, as Teodora mentions "often clubs will stop serving craft cocktails at 10:00 turning to vodka sodas, etc." Not here: jiggers, fresh ingredients, care.
I can only imagine how busy they are at 1:00am on a Saturday, so, more my speed, maybe meet me here on a Tuesday or Wednesday after work.
Now that's a date.
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