New Orleans: Drinking at Cure
Drink nerds would probably say duh when I said I had really great drinks at Cure.
During Tales of the Cocktail, I really wanted to go on the Brugal Dry Rum bus and check out the bars a bit further than the ones in the French Quarter but somehow never made it on the bus. After a Ramos at Sazarac Bar, we cabbed it over to Cure. After visiting a number of entertaining bars in New Orleans, I was slightly taken aback how quiet Cure seemed to be. Everyone was in deep conversations in the spacious bar. This was the sort of place I’d love to come by myself, get a bite and have some good drinks. I was in love.
For my opening cocktail, I decided to try the Nada Colada (Evan Williams single barrel bourbon, Amaro Meletti, lemon, egg white, peach bitters, Angostura bitters). It was a great drink and I was very pleased.
I was a bit hungry so it was fortuitous Cure also serves food. They had radishes with herbed butter which I immediately wanted. They were out of the butter and the concerned bartender asked if we wanted anything else. I asked for just the radishes with salt and regular butter. But miraculously, it came with the herbed butter after all. I mused I could have built an open-faced radish sandwich but all I did was clumsily dab my radish slices ineffectually against the butter and added a teeny bit of salt. Either way, it was still good.
Maybe I was souped out but I was immediately attracted to crab salad sandwich made with kimchi. Cure makes their own kimchi which I hadn’t really expected to find in New Orleans. It was a great sandwich and only half-heartedly offered a bite to friends. I was secretly relieved they refused.
If I wasn’t souped out, I would have tried the spring green pea soup. It sounded really good with pickled green onions though I was a bit unsure of the shaved white chocolate. Still, savory and sweet has proven to be a successful formula.
And if I was hungrier, I would have tried the roast pork and carmelized onion frito pie. The pork ragout is served with sheep’s milk cheese and green onions.
We had just come from the Sazarac bar where everyone had raved about the Ramos Gin Fizz. A Hawaiian bartender I was with was still dreaming of the Ramoses and ordered one from Cure. It was fantastic.
For my next drink, I got the Hardest Walk (Plantation overproof rum, Carpano Antica vermouth, Punt e Mes vermouth, Gran Classico bitter, orange bitters). I really enjoyed this drink. After all, it was my ideal “brown, bitter, stirred” cocktail. The overproof rum really stood up to the two vermouths and Gran Classico.
A friend did a bold move and ordered a bartender’s choice for his first drink. I tend to order that only when I’ve gotten to know a bartender. He said he really liked his drink which I can’t describe since I was too engrossed with studying the menu at the time. Let’s just call this refreshing and perfect.
We thought we’d might have time to go to another bar so we headed out. If we had stayed, I would have ordered A Thousand Blue Eyes (Tanqueray gin, Noilly Prat dry vermouth, orange flower water, lemon, Bittermen’s Boston bittahs –not a typo). Or the Floridian Void (Ferreira white port, Yellow Chartreuse, Trader Nick’s Freret Falernum, lime, honey, Angostura bitters) sounded great. As did the Arrow in the Gale (Buffalo Trace bourbon, Nardini Mandorla Almond grappa, lemon, ginger, strawberry, black pepper).
Next time I’m in NOLA, I’m definitely going back to Cure and visit their sister bar, Bellocq.
© The Minty 2012