First Look: Licorous
This post first appeared on The Spirit World in July 2006.
Lark has a new little sister and while you shouldn’t play favorites with siblings, I think I’m going to like her a lot! About 5 days after Licorous made it’s debut, Rosanne and I stopped by to check it out.
If you’ve been to Lark you know that the space is small, you nearly always need a reservation to get in and if you arrive prior to your table being ready your options for waiting are limited to 2 or 3 barstools at what passes for a bar in the back of the room or a couple of seats just inside the front door. All of these things have kept me from returning to Lark as often as I’d like.
So, seeing an opportunity Jonathan Sundstrom decided to expand his venue by taking over another small space directly across the driveway to the North of Lark.
Licorous is also small and I’m guessing once people figure out it’s open and what it is, it will be packed most nights. The one drawback at this time of year is that the space is not air-conditioned (which is mostly not a problem for me) but as the sun sets it shines directly into the west-facing windows and even with the shades drawn it heats up the place. The night we were there I believe the day’s highs had only been in the upper 70s but Licorous was pretty warm. Once the sun was low enough it did start to cool down immediately.
The good news is that from this first taste the cocktails and menu items are wonderful! And they are doing something that I really love and wonder why no one else in town had thought of it sooner – more on that in a minute.
First, the cocktails. The cocktail menu is creative, interesting and features house infused spirits in many of the drinks. They also have chosen to make their own bitters – labeled A, B, and C – to complement the creative drinks. (A = orange bitters; B = an Angostura-like concoction; C= licorice bitters)
While there, the two of us sampled four cocktails between us. I started with the Abasa d’Arancia, a wonderful concoction of orange-infused gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. Rosanne started with a 12th Avenue Cocktail (and I was glad as I’d seen a couple go buy and they were just so dang pretty!). The 12th Avenue is a mixture of rhubarb-infused vodka, Lillet and lime. You can see what I mean about the creative and interesting offerings!
Rosanne also had a Prickly Pear – a combination of tequila and Clear Creek Pear Brandy; and I finished with the Renaissance – Brandy, sweet vermouth, limoncello, and John’s "A" bitters. Now, here’s what I think is so great. Each of the listed specialty cocktails is available with a food pairing! Just a little bite of something that specifically enhances and is enhanced by the cocktail flavors. Each of these little bites is also available on its own so you can mix and match to your heart’s content. If you follow their suggested pairings you pay just $2 more than the price of the drink on its own. I love this idea and the pairings we tried were wonderful.
The food offerings are, of course, similar in style to the Lark menu but more playful and much more limited than the Lark menu. The focus is on lighter bites but there are a handful of more substantial dishes. And, I’m sure they will be changing the offerings regularly as they do at Lark, so there’s no chance you’ll get bored with the menu. Probably just the opposite – something you loved last time might not be offered the next time you come in. I love this new venue and plan to spend more time here soon! Check it out – I think you’ll be glad you did!
928 12th Avenue