Drink of the Week: Sipping the Lands End at Rich Table
It wasn't until I sat at the bar at Rich Table that I realized a restaurant could have an old soul. At a mere four months old, the place hums with such effortless vigor, you'd be forgiven for thinking the place had been around for years. The service is key, with staff that sets everyone at ease, innovative yet approachable food, and cocktails that merit a visit all on their own -- not that we recommend skipping the food.
All the menus are seasonal affairs, including the cocktails. The bar staff, overseen by wine director Maz Naba, work closely with chefs Evan and Sarah Rich to develop recipes and choose the market produce used in the drinks. The Go Get 'Em ($10, Encanto Pisco, young blood lime, coconut water), included an unusual variety of citrus the Riches got at the market that is a cross between a lime and mandarin, creating a one-of-a-kind cocktail. The Push, Push ($10, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, apple, maple syrup) is a spirit-driven snapshot of the autumn harvest, like sipping whiskey from a hipflask in an orchard.
Lou Bustamante The Push, Push Cocktail
But like many of the dishes at Rich Table, it was the outstanding and graceful simplicity of the Lands End ($10, St. George Terroir Gin, Dolin Blanc vermouth, Monterey cypress), in essence a gin martini that takes place on the Pacific Coast, that wowed us the most. Paired with the famed Sardine Chips with horseradish ($7), an interplay of the piney herbaceousness of the drink with the fresh ocean flavor of the chips evoked a happy memory of a day spent in coastal California. Rich Table wisely stirs up more than mere drinks, it recalls those happy moments in a glass and on a plate, and creates a few new ones along the way.
Rich Table, 199 Gough (at Oak), 355-9085