The only problem with bourbon is that it can make a lady glisten on a lusty mid-summer night if not properly handled. Lucky for ladies and gents alike, the Summer Bourbon served at the newly opened Saint Dinette is treated oh, so right.
The room is set up as a respite for lazy, hot days when the humidity can be downright depressing. The Rayette Lofts building has cool concrete floors and the restaurant has sleek modern touches. The sunlight streams in, but the temperatures remain just south of balmy.
Just as with owners Tim Niver and J.D. Fratzke’s other restaurant (the venerable Strip Club Meat & Fish) the food is comfort-fueled, seasonal, and as suited for special-occasion dining as it is for a casual hang. And the cocktails are as inspiring as the meals. The list is modest, but general manager Laurel Elm assures me that it will likely grow as the restaurant evolves. What they do pour is carefully selected and beautifully crafted.
The Summer Bourbon ($10) is a crystal cold mix of W.L. Wellers bourbon, Salers (a French apperetif) that adds a bit of a bitter edge that’s softened by apricot, and the whole thing is given a tempting texture and hint of sweet boost with a little gomme syrup. It’s finished off with a splash of bitters and twirl of orange peel. The cocktail is utterly drinkable and an invitation to dangerous ideas on a hot summer night when the sun sets late and anything could happen.