When it first opened in 2007, the Violet Hour was a pioneer in the craft-cocktail movement, serving inventive beverages infused with small-batch liqueurs, hand-crafted syrups and super seasonal flavors. Up until a few months ago, the bar's food menu was merely a necessary sidekick to the plentiful drink offerings—sustenance to balance the booze. But now, with the help of its first-ever chef de cuisine, Jeremy Nelson, the Violet Hour is amping up its culinary choices with a revamped menu that includes a handful of noteworthy dishes.
"We're trying to make the food as elevated as the cocktails, so that people who come to the Violet Hour will be as excited about the food as they are about the drinks," says Nelson, who's worked in Michelin-starred kitchens like now-defunct Charlie Trotter's in Chicago and and Dovetail in New York.
With just nine dishes, the new menu is short but showcases some promising, cheffy ingredients and techniques. The duck confit spring rolls are stuffed with butternut squash and served with Thai chili sauce. The ricotta gnocchi includes veal cheek, sunchoke purée and candied lemon. For dessert, the miniature ice cream cone flight has become a best-seller: Guests can to choose three flavors, with options like miso with candied ginger, black garlic with candied kumquat and lavender with shaved white chocolate. Save for a truffle add-on, nothing on the food menu exceeds $12.
Two day-one fixtures remain: the pommes frites with roasted garlic aioli and the cheeseburger sliders, which are topped with a crown of cheddar and coleslaw. "It's easy food to nibble on while you're drinking," Nelson says.
Like its cocktail counterpart, the food menu will change with the seasons, showcasing new dishes that are sure to be packed with fresh produce and funky flavors. Take a look at some of the new menu items on offer at the Violet Hour.