We barely had a chance to mourn Meat ‘n’ Potatoes, the restaurant and bar next to the raucous Creekside, when it turned into something called The Bourbon Room. So we set out to investigate one wet, windy evening this week and found the place transformed: red leather booths, wallpaper and old paintings. It was like a speakeasy had landed in your mad grandma’s attic. Owners Anna Louise Sacks (of Wisconsin) and Alvaro Castellanos Rojas (of Milk & Honey and Alcazar) recently opened this restaurant and made sure the bar was ace. And it is. A majority of the drinks are bourbon-based. We tried a Bittered Sling, adapted from the one at Sly’s in Carpinteria, a simple mix of bourbon, sugar, and Angostura bitters with a slice of orange zest. The Wisco Old Fashioned muddles similar amounts of bourbon with cherries and orange. Nothing fussy. Just old school recipes. The two are most happy about their Kitty Coupe Deville, which uses bourbon, mint, sugar, cherry-infused bourbon and lime and mixes it into a lovely rocks cocktail both slightly sweet and mature.
When you visit, ask about the Bitters Club, based on a Wisconsin tradition (Anna will tell you all about it). There’s a little initiation that involves very medicinal herbs. The rewards? Why should we tell you? Go find out yourself at this new awesome spot in town. In the meantime, here’s our Drink of the Week!
KITTY COUPE DEVILLE
3 sprigs of mint
1/2 teaspoon simple syrup
2 wedges lime
1 1/2 ounces Benchmark bourbon
1/2 ounces cherry-infused bourbon (recipe follows)
Muddle mint, simple syrup and lime together. Add ice, bourbon and cherry-infused bourbon. Shake and pour into lowball glass.
Cherry-infused bourbon: Take your favorite bottle of bourbon and let a cup of pitted cherries (not store-bought “maraschino” kind) infuse for at least two weeks.
Yield: 1 drink
THE BOURBON ROOM
4444 Hollister Ave.
Goleta, CA 93110