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Julia Thiel

The onetime In Fine Spirits has another successor in this gastropub/modernist restaurant.

Our Review

With its high-top tables and flat-screen TVs, this gastropub in the old In Fine Spirits feels more like that neighborhood favorite than its short-lived successors Premise and Brasserie 54. What's missing is food at the price point you'd expect in a place where you can't rest your feet on the floor. But though you may not be able to eat cheaply here, you can eat well. Chef Kevin McMullen (ex-El Ideas) imports his modernist background into even a $3 bar snack like bacon-infused popcorn. While an overthick, undersalted potato soup poured tableside was less than harmonious, entrees were phenomenal. The phrase "meltingly tender" came to mind as soon as I bit into moist, umami-rich pork shoulder, and the light, fluffy gnocchi served with short ribs made it seem almost tough by comparison. The latter combo makes for an incredibly rich dish, but I'd order it again in a second. And I will be back—a return visit is ensured by easy-drinking cocktails like the Mule Skinner Blues, dark rum with huckleberries, mint, lime, falernum, and ginger. There's also craft beer—a respectable list of nine draft pours and 20-odd bottles—and about 20 wines by the glass.

Julia Thiel

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Price: $$$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

Bar Details

Having craft cocktails is practically a requirement for bars and restaurants these days, and the Brixton measures up admirably. The eight-drink menu features several classic cocktails, including the less-common Aviation and Boulevardier. Heat nearly overwhelmed the High Thyme—a concoction of Bulleit bourbon and maraschino liqueur with lemon, thyme, maple syrup, chile, and cucumber—but the bits of lemon pulp in the drink, along with the maple syrup and cucumber, helped balance things out. The smoky, citrusy Spanish Harlem, consisting of mezcal, chartreuse, and lime, was simple but elegant. And I'll be back again in the summer (if not before) for the Mule Skinner Blues, an easy-drinking dark rum cocktail with huckleberries, mint, lime, falernum, and ginger that tastes kind of like a cross between a mojito and a Moscow Mule with some berries thrown in. There's also craft beer—a respectable list of nine draft pours and 20-odd bottles—and about 20 wines by the glass. —Julia Thiel

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