Friday, November 19, 2010

On an Island of your own



Oyster Bar sets a new Standard for the Kenmore Square area

If there’s one knock on Eastern Standard, regularly lauded as one of the best bars in the country, nevermind Boston, it’s that the already huge bar is usually so busy, it can be hard to find a seat. Taking over the old Great Bay space in the same building, Island Creek Oyster Bar, a new collaboration from the people behind Eastern Standard and Duxbury’s Island Creek Oysters should alleviate some of that.

A number of a familiar faces have made the trip down the hall, including bar director Jackson Cannon, head bartender Bob McCoy and general manager Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli. In other words, the bar program here is in really capable hands. The resulting libations echo the theme of the restaurant’s farm to table philosophy, with an emphasis on boutique spirits and daily fresh and seasonally appropriate cocktail ingredients. The décor of the space falls in line too, with a towering oyster shell bedecked wall, wooden beach slats and sandy-hued floors that suggest the Duxbury beach.

“We’re keeping the cocktail list a little bit smaller, but every bit as elegant as some of the more interesting offerings of Eastern Standard,” Cannon says.

They’re also designed to match well with the seafood and oyster-focused menu. Like the house cocktail Perennial, a classic vodka sour made with spiced fennel syrup and finished with lemon.

 
“We’re trying to echo seasonality,” says McCoy, calling that drink one of their more accessible.

 
Others, like the Spanish Cararvan, made with Calvados, Herradura Reposado, Lustau Sherry, Allspice Dram, and garnished with a dried, spiced-apple  hue skew toward the adventurous side that you’d expect from an all star lineup like this.

What he’s having:

McCoy suggests the Snug Harbor Smash, made with a blend of four rums (Appleton Estate, Rhum Barbancourt 8 year, Smith & Cross, and El Dorado 3 year), demerara syrup, crushed lime and mint.
“It’s got a beautiful molasses,” he says. “It’s a similar build to a whiskey smash, but a different flavor profile. The rum base is gorgeous, all purpose, all season long.”



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