Small Batch — Davey, Davey, Quite Contrary
Milkshakes and burgers. Beer and sausages. Whiskey and…vegetables. Classics all.
Yes, I do believe that David Bailey was having a bit of perverse fun with his latest endeavor. I get it. Push the envelope. Challenge the expected. Plus, with other whiskey joints popping up like daisies (see Gamlin Whiskey House & The Whiskey Ring), pairing vegetarian fare with an extensive whiskey list merits notice. But at the end of the day, I’m not sure I’ve been cured of a carnal craving for red meat with my bourbon.
As with other Bailey joints, the atmosphere is well-engineered. Sexy vibe for sure. Although…you may have to go on a bit of a quest to find the bathroom and you may get to watch an AA meeting from across the street–all trade-offs for the midtown alley location I suppose.
The Whiskey. I’m definitely a whiskey fan, but I’m not enough of a connoisseur to be critical of their offerings. It’s a huge list. I saw plenty of favorites. I’m guessinggg you’ll find something you’ll like. I got one of their tasting samplers–the 101 (Powers, Glennfiddich, and Elijah Craig)–and was very pleased. In fact, I think they should offer more tasting samplers. I love the chance to explore and it’s even better when you can make side-by-side comparisons. For example, the Elijah Craig 12 year: did NOT care for it. Now I know. But I still had two other tasty options to make up for it. Totally ideal.
The Food. It was fine. The two small plates I sampled were not especially savory. The gratin was a little heavy on uber sweet caramelized grapes (more shallots, goat cheese and rosemary plz). The gougeres had great texture, but the stone fruit compote was again pretty saccharine. Beyond small plates, somewhat expectedly, there is plenty of pasta on the menu. Which, if you’re not going to be soaking up whiskey with a ribeye, there better be carbs. I chose to chase my share of the starters with the pappardelle with mushroom bourguigon. Mushroom sauce was satisfying. The pasta was pretty thick and doughy though.
Ah well. The portion sizes were healthy, the price points were exceedingly reasonable, and I’m confident Small Batch will grow into its menu.