The Patterson House
Pictured: Skip Wilson, Marion Grace and Max Goldberg
By Dave Paulson
A word to the not-so-wise: Don't hit up Patterson House if you're looking to slam your cash on the bar and have a quick mix of booze and fountain fizz slid your way. It's not going to happen, and you'll be killing everyone else's buzz.
That buzz is built on Patterson's intoxicating mix of classic, painstakingly crafted cocktails, luxe but inviting décor, low lighting and a kind staff who undoubtedly know their stuff. From the moment you step through the curtain that leads into the main room, getting a drink (or several) is a feature-length experience, whether you're holding court in one of the snug booths or seated at the bar.
Part of that experience is the wait: Expect a five-to-10-minute lull between your order and when your drinks arrive. Take that time to ignore your friends and admire the room's speakeasy-era charm and the serious skills of the bartenders, who take center stage behind the amply sized 30-stool bar.
What they whip up - between their presentation, subtle detailing and carefully balanced flavors - are the kind of cocktails you're inspired to sip and savor. The bartenders design their drinks for slower speeds as well - most famously with the eight different types of twice-filtered ice, which can come in the shapes of single, fist-sized spheres and glass-length cylinders for maximum flavor and minimum dilution.
Daring patrons will be rewarded with some of Patterson's finest concoctions, like the Bacon Old Fashioned, which mixes bacon-macerated bourbon, maple syrup and coffee pecan bitters into something surprisingly elegant. Other standouts include ginger-heavy drinks like the Dark & Stormy and the tequila-based El Diablo. You'd be remiss not to try one of the many cocktails that list egg whites among their ingredients, though the frothy results may be an acquired taste.
As drinking - no matter how fancy - inevitably leads to noshing, the Patterson House provides a sizable food menu that features cultured takes on late-night fare, from paninis, shrimp corndogs and barbecue pork sliders to cinnamon-sugar doughnuts and absinthe-lemon bars.