Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fast Food (and drink) - Alembic

To celebrate the purchase of my recent iPhone 3Gs (thank you Bersons!), Daniel and I went for a fancy drink at Alembic in the Haight. We were great lovers of the fresh fruit cocktails offered at Death and Co. in the East Village and have been looking for something comparable in the Bay Area, so we hit up Alembic Bar, which is named after an outdated whiskey distilling process involving some tubes and other mishigas.

The atmosphere is brighter and more open than Death and Co, so it doesn't feel quite as special and moody, but the cocktails were good and the servers were friendly. Being a lover of the savory drink ("I prefer to get my vitamins from a Bloody Mary", said the lady), I asked the waitress for a rec, and Daniel and I went with both of her suggestions - his involving strawberries and Tabasco and mine incorporating some celery juice. They were both good, although still a little sweet for me. Here are some pics (taken with the 3GS)

The strawberry extravaganza- notice that pretty drop of oil on top

The celery surprise

If our visit had just been the cocktails, it would have been a nice, but relatively forgettable diversion. However, there were snacks too. And I love snacks!

We were saving ourselves for dinner, so we kept to the small plates.

Shishito peppers with housesmokeed salt -

These came in copious quantities, and while good and salty and smokey, were not as hot as I might have liked. So we gave our extras to the heavily tattooed couple sitting beside us. Yes, we were paying it forward, although we have yet to reap the rewards of that particular generosity.

We were less eager to share our other small bite - the pickled quail eggs. These three tender, delicate orbs of briny lusciousness were represented everything one wants to go with a pre-prandial cocktail. They were salty, smooth, and a little fatty, soaking in the alcohol and helping to intensify the palate and appetite for the upcoming meal.

Usually, when we get three of something as we did in this case, I let Daniel have two, and being a martyr to the cause of gastro-magnanimity take a single sample. However, these were so sublime, that I insisted that we split the final one. Yummy, indeed.