Ravi Derossi has quietly been building a vegan empire in the East Village with Avant Garden, Ladybird and Mother of Pearl. Above Mother of Pearl, he's debuted a new cocktail lounge today focused on bourbon and rye with a plant-based BBQ menu. Chef Amira Gharib (Daniel, Rouge Tomate) crafts dishes for the menu while Sother Teague (Amor y Amargo) is at the helm of the beverage program.
Located in the former site of Cienfuegos, the second-floor walk-up is made to look like a saloon from the Wild West meets a burlesque bar. The resulting effect is an environment that comes off a bit tacky, but with some damn good plant-based smoky dishes that are just as delicious and convincing as when made with real meat. The offerings which span "ribs," pulled "pork," and burnt ends (made from alternatives like seitan and mushrooms) are prepared with traditional BBQ techniques: brining, marinating, smoke-infusion and roasting.
Also on the menu: fried corn with pimento aioli, vegan queso, fried green tomatoes, corn bread, charred broccoli salad, among others.
Customers who become regulars will delight in the exclusivity of their "Golden Cabinet" program; make your way through the drinks and overtime you might just be granted a key to special, top-tier bottles.