I have so many fond -- and fuzzy -- memories of Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, that I was tickled pink when I heard John Dye reopened the swanky drinkery.
I dropped in for a cocktail last week, and was happy to see it hadn’t changed much visually. The mirrored walls, the ambient lighting and the deep booths continue to define the décor, but the energy was fresher than ever with John greeting customers and master elixir mixer Evan Barnes behind the bar.
When John purchased Bryant’s from previous owner Debbie Malmberg, he received stacks of recipe cards for the 500 specialty drinks, including the infamous Brain Buster. (And remember, Bryant’s doesn’t have a drink menu, just a well-versed waitstaff!)
I definitely wanted a drink adorned with a piece of flaming fruit, and I considered the classic, grapey Black Magic, but John suggested The Candlelight, a fruity concoction made from vodka, Bryant’s signature syrup, raspberry liqueur, lemon juice and a flaming peach.
Like all of Bryant’s beverages, it was dangerously delicious.
My friend Kara enjoyed a champagne cocktail made with crème de cassis, lemon and bubbly. Later, Evan sent over a sample of The Nutty Colada, which is coconut, pineapple and amaretto.
Next time, I’m going for one of the spiked ice cream drinks, but I was certainly ready to cut myself off after the colada sampling. I didn’t want a repeat of what happened about 10 years ago, when I had two of Bryant’s Mai Tais and had to lie down in the car.
In any case, it was a blast to be back at Bryant’s.