Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Starlight Room Cocktail Preview

Posted By on Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 2:35 PM

click to enlarge Joel Teitelbaum serving up a couple of Pisco Crustas - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Joel Teitelbaum serving up a couple of Pisco Crustas
Opening tonight at 6 p.m. (until midnight) is the revamped incarnation of Harry Denton's Starlight Room sporting a new dance floor, plush furniture, and an inventive cocktail menu.

We caught up with bar manager Joel Teitelbaum a few weeks back and discussed his plans for the program. Now we've had a chance to sample his concoctions.

The comprehensive list is divided into eight distinct eras in cocktail culture from "The Beginning - Punch - 1600s" with a selection of three punch bowls to the present. There's an appendix of "Starlight Room Classics," a tribute to past bartenders featuring their signature cocktails, the Cable Car (Sailor Jerry rum, orange curacao, lemon, egg white with a cinnamon sugar rim) by Tony Abou-Ganim, Marco Dionysos' Chartreuse Swizzle (green chartreuse, Velvet Falernum, pineapple, lime), and Jacques Bezuidenhout's La Perla (Partida reposado Tequila, manzanilla sherry, Mathilde pear liqueur).

From the Jerry Thomas years (1830-1885), the Pisco Crusta (Encanto Pisco, red lychee tea, lime) served in a champagne flute frosted with superfine sugar, is a nice use of pisco brandy. The drink is a crowd-pleaser that is potent enough to animate any wallflower.

click to enlarge The Jalisco Cobbler - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • The Jalisco Cobbler

The "The Dry Years - Prohibition 1920 - 1933" section contained our favorite drink of the menu, the Jalisco Cobbler (reposado Tequila, strawberry, black pepper, lime, bitters). The crushed chunks of strawberries and black pepper dance a pirouette of sweet, tart, and light spice--it manages to be interesting, refreshing, and all too easy to drink more than a few.

In the "Present Day" cocktail menu, the surprise is the High Flyer (Kubler Absinthe, hibiscus cordial, lemon, Bundaberg peach soda) that shows Teitelbaum's mixing skills, taking an anise-based cocktail and finding a nice balance of showcasing the spirit, but having it show some restraint, which isn't easy to do with absinthe.

How well the renovation will reinvigorate the Starlight Room remains to be seen, but with Teitelbaum behind the bar, it's already shining a little brighter.

Harry Denton's Starlight Room, 450 Powell (at Sutter), 395-8595

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • Phish at the Bill Graham Auditorium
    Phish is in the midst of a block of sold out shows at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (October 27-29). The Monday night concert featured a rare first set opener of “Walfredo” with the band members switching instruments for the song. The evening’s highlights included John Fishman and his iconic vacuum cleaner solo and favorites such as Chalk Dust Torture, Slave to the Traffic Light, Axilla, Rift, 2001 Space Odyssey, and Maze. The show also featured Phish’s debut of a, seemingly impromptu, version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to with roaring approval of the, singing along, crowd. With Game 6 being tonight, partying Phish fans will join Giants fans in Civic Center Plaza where there will be a World Series viewing party on a large screen set up by the City. Photography by Jamie Soja.
  • The 4th Annual Masquerotica 2014 - NSFW
    The theme this year was Carnaval Mystique for the 4th Annual Masquerotica at The Factory. Attendees were entertained by strip dance, trapeze, and live music. Photographs by Calibree Photography.