Drink of the Week: Dog and Lion Show at Trick Dog
You can't help but
Lou Bustamante steal admire the Pantone color swatch book menu at Trick Dog, with the cocktails named after various color names. Each one either refers to the color, like with the Polar Bear ($11, Pierde Almas Puritita Mezcal, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, Tempus Fugit Crème de Menthe, angelica tincture) which comes out as pale white, although a few reference the feel of the name rather than the color, like Grandma's Sweater ($10, Beefeater 24 Gin, Zucca Rabarbaro, blood orange, lime, mint, bitter lemon soda). In lesser hands, this would be cutesy or smack of conceit, but here the menu is an effective guide to visual expectations.
If only picking out house paint were as fun as choosing a cocktail to color your mood, in particular with choices like the brilliant gold Lion Heart ($10, Black Grouse Scotch, mango puree, lemon juice, pepper tincture). A riff on a tiki-style drinks based on scotch rather than rum, bartender Morgan Schick concocted the drink in his head while lying awake one morning. The drink comes complete with a lion's nose-like wedge of preserved strawberry hidden at the bottom of the glass. It's not as smoky as you would expect, managing to be more tropical with light layers of spice from both the oak cask-aged whisky and the pepper tincture. Just like the bright yellow color, the drink is easy to enjoy.
Lou Bustamante One of the owners, Josh Harris
Equally impressive is how seamlessly the bar fits in to the neighborhood, to the point that a few months into their opening it's hard to imagine what life was like without them. Hyperbole? A little, but Trick Dog, barely a few months old, felt exactly like that.
The missus and I found ourselves hungry near Flour + Water on a Saturday night and decided to try our luck waiting in line for a walk-in spot. At opening, the parade of people quickly filled the restaurant, but we were hopeful. Watching the couple ahead of us get seated, our grins and appetites grew, but the cruel host dispelled our joy with an offer to place our name on the list for the next available table. In an hour and half.
Lou Bustamante Barman Morgan Schick
Walking over to Trick Dog to kill some time, thirst, and a little bit of hungry-anger (hanger?), I pondered how people killed an hour and half in the neighborhood back before the bar opened. Ordering a few drinks and some food in the buzzing bar was a perfect way to kill time, except for the fact that after an hour and a half of happy eating and drinking, we were satiated and content to simply continue with our evening rather than claim our table. Color me delighted.
By Morgan Schick
2 oz. Black Grouse Scotch
¼ oz. Mango puree
½ oz. Rich simple syrup (2:1 sugar to water)
¾ oz. Lemon juice
30 drops Pepper tincture (a mix of pink peppercorn, black pepper, long pepper and grains of paradise)
Strawberry wedge preserved in sugar, salt, and pepper syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and double strain into a coupe. Garnish strawberry wedge.
Trick Dog, 3010 20th St. (at Florida), 471-2999