Ed Diaz, who's crafting the cocktail program at about-to-open Serendipity, gave me a tour of the space today and let me in on the drinks list:
To start. He's brought in 10 bestsellers from his other venture, Bar Tonique, including the Moscow Mule (housemade ginger syrup and soda stand in for ginger beer).
The rest. Especially for Serendipity, Ed has developed more "cocktail classics for the modern palate"; he'll eventually add house craft cocktails as well.
Spirits and drinks I'm excited about:
Redbreast 12-year-old Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey, the only one of its kind available in the U.S. This is a complex and creamy whiskey made with malted and unmalted barleys, triple-distilled.
A peach brandy cobbler blending cognac with housemade peach liqueur, poured over shaved ice.
An extensive beer list, including a Belgian wit from Japan and sparkling pale ale from Australia.
An amaretto sour that uses high-proof bourbon to give the sweet almond liqueur "some backbone".
Single-batch punches, like the Serendipity, which brings in Amère Sauvage, a gentian liqueur, to stand in for black tea; here, it's paired with port.
A funky Old-Fashioned featuring Delirio de Oaxaca Joven mezcal (also new to the U.S. market) and agave nectar.
Wine program. He's opening with a 20-bottle wine list available in 4-ounce pours, 1/3 bottle or whole bottle.
On the food side. Fans of Chef Chris DeBarr will be happy to see his golden beet ravioli and the sultry sultan's nest dessert (shredded phyllo anchored with honey, topped with pistachio gelato) reappear at Serendipity. The most expensive dish I saw was $15, with a 4-course tasting menu for $40.
Wireless space. Serves will take your order at the table with an iPod, and at the bar on an iPad. Eventually, servers will be able to swipe your credit card tableside, so it'll never leave your hands.
His dream team...includes Paul Gustings from Tujague's; Lucinda Weed (who'll split her time between Serendipity and Sylvain); Winston from Bellocq, Bazil Zerinsky from the Sazerac Bar and Jason Bass (former GM of Lilette).
Serendipity will seat 80 and feature a private room, graced with a chandelier made from wine bottles. The Mid-City restaurant is on track to open later this week, hopefully by Friday. The fantastic Chris DeBarr, of course, will helm the kitchen. 3700 Orleans Avenue, 407.0818
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