Downtown Drinking

Reserve 101's New Menu Ups the Bar Food Ante

A short but sweet list of flatbreads and bar snacks raises Reserve 101's game.

By Katharine Shilcutt October 21, 2013

Reserve 101 stocks over 300 whiskeys, including my current favorite: Hibiki

Reserve 101 has always been the bar I think of when I think of whiskey. That's because owners Mike Raymond and Steve Long have stocked their bar with such a dizzying selection of whiskeys, whiskys, bourbons, and Scotch whiskys that Reserve 101 now boasts the largest selection of whiskey in the state. But lately, something besides whiskey has been on my mind when I think of Reserve 101.

Reserve 101
1201 Caroline

Namely, the mezcal Bloody Mary jelly Reserve 101 is serving as part of its new bar food menu. Newly hired kitchen manager Nico Schibetta and assistant Justin Beals are both barely old enough to drink yet have created a menu that both complements the spirits selection at Reserve 101 and manages to stand apart from every other bar menu in town.

Schibetta and Beals add apple pectin to a mezcal-based Bloody Mary to create a sweet-and-smoky jam that's served alongside toast points topped with a bubbly crust of melted "whisky cheese fondue," made by blending sharp Cheddar, mild white cheese, Chardonnay, and your choice of bourbon or Islay Scotch. But that's not all they're up to.

The pair have also created a list of flatbreads, banh mi, and a Brie & Pig Roll sandwiching Brie, pancetta, salami, and fig spread between pieces of crusty baguette. On my last visit to Reserve 101, I tried the tomato and mozzarella flatbread, which was perked up with mezcal-marinated baby heirloom tomatoes and an IPA-infused balsamic vinegar across the top, finished off with fresh basil and mozz. But while the flatbread was quite lovely (and cut into nicely shareable pieces for a group), it was that mezcal Bloody Mary jelly that really captured my heart.

In addition to the new food menu, Raymond showed off his new cocktail menu as well. While there are plenty of whiskey-based favorites from a classic Manhattan to the more involved Blood & Sand, Raymond has added non-whiskey cocktails to the menu, too: Negronis, Moscow Mules, Pimm's Cups, and the like all offer something for the buddy you've brought along who—bless his soul—just doesn't like whiskey, or wants something different.

Reserve 101 is open daily from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. (except for Sundays, when it opens at 5 p.m.), making it ideal for happy hour drinks, a night out, or a final coup de grace after a show at the House of Blues directly across the street. Best of all, that brand new kitchen is open until 2 a.m. every night.

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