Sunday, December 13, 2009

Imbibe Review

So long time no blog. My apologies. This holiday season has about run me through. While we are mostly experiencing success, it comes at the cost of exhaustion and ignoring spouses, friends, and family. I have yet to do any Christmas shopping for my loved ones, and I'm feeling a bit hopeless at the thought of it. I hate that part of this holiday - the commercial part. Yes, it's great to give gifts to those when the feeling is right: you see something that reminds you of someone, so you buy it and give it to them. That sense of flow doesn't happen for everyone you give presents to. The whole part about, "Well, who's left on my list to buy for" is downright annoying and defeating the purpose of the season. Just because you didn't see the perfect item for someone doesn't mean that you don't think of that person or stopped loving that person. It just means that there's not a crummy piece of consumer schite to represent your adoration for them.

And you're thinking, Sarah, what the jiminy does this have to do with food? I know, I'm sorry. Ignore that little tiff. I'm here to give you my review for a cute little bar downtown. I don't know when my editor will get back with me about it or if it will even make it to the paper, but we'll see I guess. Here you go.

"Imbibe: The new home of classy and casual.

Blink and you’ll miss it. Sandwiched between the Smokehouse on Shelby and the entrance of the Fountain Square Theater you’ll find Imbibe: a bar that hints of old time glamour; showcasing “classic cocktails”, Deco décor, and an intimate dining space that seats 16.
Bartender Brain Jones, (who reminded me of John Cusack) was very personable; inquiring about our taste in music so that he may play it for us. “The atmosphere changes with the crowd,” he said. Imbibe’s vibe reflects it’s occupants, making the bar accommodating to all ages of of-age drinkers. The bar is open Wednesday through Saturday from 5pm until the late-night folks filter out.
Craft beers are moderately priced around $4 and cocktails average $7.50. I tried the Sidecar - Brandy, Grand Mariner, and fresh lemon juice with a sugared rim - quoted to be the “perfect cocktail.” (Need I say more?) These cocktails are not for the weak. My date ordered a traditional Martini which was dry, lip curlingly dry. They are tastefully poured with a heavy hand.
The menu at Imbibe is simple- only appetizers and a soup of the day. Composed by Chef Matt Schwartz, the menu is a smattering of items from the Shelby Street Café and the Smokehouse on Shelby. Some of the offerings are sophisticated like the Smoked Salmon and Trout Plate. (They smoke everything in house.) Old pub standards such as Smokehouse Wings and Pulled Pork Sliders are also on the menu. My foodie accomplice and I shared a Beer Battered Shrimp Basket with the signature Raspberry Chipotle sauce, a generous order of beef Brisket Sliders with sweet BBQ sauce (home-style like mom would make), and a cup of house made chicken noodle soup. Tender tongues beware of the chipotle. It’s REAL chipotle. Appetizers range from $8 to $11, with a Wing and Beer Special for $23. The White Russian or the Chocolate Martini is a sweet way to end the meal. In fact, I suggest it."

Thanks for reading. I'm on to another assignment - a french cafe in Carmel.

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