It was five o’clock on a Tuesday night, and I thought it would be prime time to snag a bar seat. However, gazing down the row of occupied stools at 4 Bells, I quickly realized my mistake. Asking for a table didn’t prove so successful, either. “Do you have a reservation?” the hostess guarding the nearly empty room asked. “We have a lot of reservations tonight.”
So, what’s a drinker in need of a weeknight four-top to do? Hover. Luckily, it worked. Seems the city has been waiting for this new Loring Park eatery to open for quite some time now and all are crowding in for a taste of the Southern-influenced, seafood-heavy menu.
The cocktail menu meanders around from shots for grownups, martinis, and classics on tap, and but my eye fell on particularly tasty little punch. Mr. Perkin’s Punch arrives in a jar with a handle, filled with a hailstorm of bitsy ice cubes and a pleasant mix of sweet, sour, spicy, and toasty spirits. A fruity ginger-and-passionfruit base is mixed with Jim Bean, dry Curacao, and Cappelletti bitters, then is topped with an aggressive garnish of Peychaud’s. The boat-drink appearance belies the balance of flavors contained within the glass. For $10, the punch pairs with just about anything on the menu, especially the salty, spicy stuff. Just remember to call ahead for a reservation first.