My New Obsession: Cocktails @ The Patterson House

From the minute I got wind of a new bar opening in the old Patrick’s space on Division, I started digging for info. The more I discovered, the more excited I became. As much as I love Nashville, lately I’ve become a bit bored with the nightlife offerings. When I found out that the owners of our wedding space, Aerial , were opening The Patterson House and had hired the firm behind Chicago’s Violet Hour to create the cocktail menu, my heart did a pitter patter. (a special thanks to Libby for giving me my first taste of Violet Hour!)

So the night the doors opened for business, my visiting NYC friend Leslie and I decided to check it out. Talk about love at first sight! The vibe is very speakeasy-esque….velvet curtains, dark wood, leather, and vintage wallpaper all combine to create an intimate, relaxing atmosphere. Once we were settled snugly into our private booth, we began to peruse the list of libations. A description from me would not do the menu justice, so suffice it to say that there is an extensive list of signature creations as well as several classic cocktail offerings. The best part is the quality– all drinks are made with house-made syrups, bitters, and fresh fruit, then poured over 8 different types of ice (who knew there were so many ice possibilities?). Because it was a Tuesday night and thoughts of work were swimming in our heads, Leslie and I sadly had to call the evening to an end after 3 drinks, although I think we would have been much happier taste testing for a couple more hours!

My 2nd visit fell on a Saturday, so no need to put a limit on myself, right? Me, hubby and another couple sampled 20- yep, count ’em- twenty– different cocktails between us. Out of all 20 only 1 got a thumbs down and it was really a matter of poor ordering on our part. The manager actually delivered that particular round to our table and before walking away he said, “do you like ingredient x? because alot of people don’t. so if you don’t, just let me know and we’ll replace it with something else, no problem.” This was Round #5, so you’ll have to excuse me for not being able to remember what “ingredient x” was, or the name of the drink. Sorry! Just keep in mind when making your selection, that if you don’t recognize something, ask before ordering!

My Top 5 List of Cocktails:
Moscow Mule Prairie Vodka, Lime, Ginger Syrup
El Diablo Lunazul Reposado Tequila, Lemon, House Made Ginger Syrup, Briottet Cassis
Dark & Stormy Matusalem Rum, Lime, Cruzan Black Strap, Ginger Syrup
Juliet & Romeo Plymouth Gin, Lime, Mint, Cucumber, Rose Water
Whiskey Smash Rebel Yell Bourbon, Lemon, Mint, Peychaud’s Bitters

I’m totally digging the ginger syrup. Ooh, that tingle on my tongue is so very tantalizing!

Now of course I couldn’t leave out the food…choices consist of several creative small plates, finger foods, and paninis, all priced under $11. Some of the minds focusing on the kitchen are veterans of Fat Duck in London, Craft in NYC and Alinea in Chicago, so if you’ve dined at any of those, you know it goes without saying there is some mighty good stuff being served up here!

My Top 5 List of Foods (so far, still need to try plenty of others!):

The Elvis Panini with Peanut Butter, Banana & Bacon
Shrimp Corndogs (spicy mustard dipping sauce is awesome)
Prosciutto, Fig and Arugula Flatbread
Blackeyed Pea Hummus with crackers
Tater Tots with Horseradish-Sour Cream sauce

One last important thing to know before you go is that The Patterson House policy is to limit capacity to the total seats in the bar, which is around 80. If all the seats are full when you arrive, you’ll have to wait in the front entry (Violet Hour in Chicago does this too). Lucky for me, there was no wait on the first visit and only a 10 minute wait on my 2nd. The plus side of this policy is that once inside, you can actually have a very pleasant evening without people bumping into you or fighting the crowd to squeeze up to the bar. Now that I’ve had the pure delight of experiencing this place a couple of times, I can confidently say to you , it will be worth the wait.

If you go, please report back and let me know what you think!

Photo Credit: 8_20_09 by jcbonbon and The Bar by Josh H.