Next Tuesday's launch of Mid-City Yacht Club's new dinner menu also marks the bar's expansion into a courtyard - and into craft cocktails. With Chef Lurie Luciano in the revamped kitchen, and a walk-in now stuffed with fresh local produce, MCYC bartenders are also bumping up the drinks program.
To be fair, this neighborhood bar has always made its own Bloody Mary mix and house-infused vodkas - playful flavors like bubblegum, Jolly Ranchers, Red Hots, Skittles, as well as black peppercorn, and what I had the other night: vodka soaked with orange peels and almond extract that bartender Beth Hollmann shakes with triple sec and fresh orange juice.
Soon, though, the bar will count on Lurie for specialty sweeteners like blueberry-ginger syrup (in mojitos), peanut butter-banana syrup (for White Russians), and housemade ice cream (Guinness floats). "It's going to be beautiful," says Beth. "It's time." (At three-plus years, she's MCYC's newest bartender.)
Lurie's thoughtful bar food, aimed first at late-night diners, then the brunch and lunch crowds, includes jambalaya-riced poppers, fresh po-boy sliders, hand-cut fries and ramen with seared tuna. She'll make sauces and sides - smoked, Abita-spiked ketchup, crawfish cheese sauce and pickled vegetables - in-house, and desserts too.
Out back, customers will get table service in a rebuilt annex (TVs, dartboards and perhaps a second bar) and in the new courtyard, to feature a water fountain, plants and a flat-screen TV.
With the expansion, the front bar has become a non-smoking area, a concession that MCYC made when it first asked the city to rezone the abandoned lot behind them. "It was our pitch to the city," says MJ Sauer, co-owner of MCYC, "because we think non-smoking bars will happen statewide. We're trying to be forward-thinking."
Mid-City Yacht Club, 440 S. St. Patrick, 483.2517. Mid-City Yacht Club takes its new food menu public Sept. 3, with plans to revamp the cocktail program next month. MCYC co-owners include MJ and Jeremy Sauer, and Ben and Stefanie Markey. Cool side note: MJ owns a real estate agency aimed at renovations and first-time homeowners.
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