Tucked away off Westminster – just around the corner from Queen of Hearts and Modern Love – with glowing blue letters signaling you’ve arrived, The Eddy is everything you’d want from a bar with a handwritten cocktail list. Flickering candles provide mood lighting against an exposed brick wall, and Old Fashioneds are poured on draft. There’s the promise of creativity in the expansive collection of bottles behind the bar, but the vibe in no way feels pretentious.
Though the communal experience of sitting at the bar speaks to me, this foggy winter evening my partner and I opted for a table. There’s only a handful of them, which makes the choice all the more cozy. Then the difficult task of deciding on our first round began.
“It’s not often I end up at a place where almost all the drinks are new to me,” my boyfriend remarked on the cocktail menu’s originality. From tea-infused spirits to mulled wine syrup and quince liqueur, there are few flavors these mixologists aren’t willing to experiment with.
Grapes of Wrath was certainly a first for me – this mouthwatering study of grapes found a balance of sweetness and acidity in a blend of Singani 63 (brandy distilled with Muscat of Alexandria grapes), manzanilla sherry, verjus, cava, and Concord grape. My boyfriend’s Pineapple Skies was equally satisfying, adding a little smoky roastiness to the citrus of pineapple juice with a Mezcal Amarás base, plus spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
We were pleased for the bright, sweet sipping once we chose our snacks. A sort of build-your-own charcuterie menu, we were given a pencil to check off meats, cheeses, and pickles. But first, sliders. Each order comes with two, perfect for swapping. The Cuban Sliders are made of irresistibly juicy pork and beef patties with crispy potato sticks between buns baked by nearby Oberlin, but the Halloumi Sliders stole the show for me. A substitute for meat patties, the grilling cheese was charred to perfection on the outside while holding its form on the inside – no oozy, stringiness here. For added crunch, pickled veggies and lettuce came together with harissa mayo to create a lightly spiced, fully indulgent mini “burger.” A standard slider will never do it for me again.
For the rest of our dinner, we leaned into all things pickled. Marinated Castelvetrano olives (delectfully briny with a firm bite – and did I spy a bird’s eye chili floating in there?), spicy pickled green beans, and sweet mini pickles complemented a tray of Durk’s smoked bacon and taleggio cheese served with fresh baguette slices. A little bit creamy, though not quite spreadable, the taleggio had the right amount of mild funkiness to befriend the smorgasbord of sweet and savory eats.
Salty snacks were followed by one more cocktail (When Pigs Fly – Sazerac rye and sherry with plenty of citrus and an apricot wedge garnish), then a sip of amaro at our server’s recommendation – the perfect aperitif to end the night.
Though we left satiated, a return trip is needed to answer a few questions – namely what’s in their famous House Punch, a concoction simply described as “what pirates drink,” and how could I have skimmed over something called House Muddy Buddies on our first outing? Thankfully, The Eddy is the kind of place worth a lingering, dimly lit jaunt or a quick bite and cocktail – always with the lure of surprise and a little bit of whimsy.
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