Barbette in West Hollywood opened a little more than a month ago. I had dropped in for the opening party but vowed to come back for dinner which I did recently.
The drinks menu is divided into sparkling drinks and other libations. My first instinct is to go for the whiskey so I got the Chanteur which caught my eye for the avocado leaf-infused vermouth. It’s a bit like a Manhattan but served on the rocks. It’s actually not too heavy and I thought it was a great opening drink.
Chanteur – rye, calvados, Benedictine, avocado leaf-infused Ambrato vermouth
We started with a few apps including the chilled shrimp. The plump shrimp went well with the dipping sauce.
Sparkling drinks would go very well with the food so that’s why I ordered the Pearl Cap to go with our mains. I loved the grappa with sparkling rose wine. Giffard black rose liqueur gives it a touch of sweetness.
Pearl Cap – Dimmi grappa, Giffard Black Rose liqueur, sparkling rose wine, lemon
A few years ago, I couldn’t get enough of deviled eggs. I ate so many eggs, I thought I had burned out on them. Then I had Barbette’s ouefs nicoise and realized I still very much love deviled eggs and I particularly like fun variations like a Nicoise salad take on deviled eggs. These feature anchovy which makes them delicious. Also, the soft boiled yolks aren’t actually scooped out and mixed back in. They reminded me more of perfect ramen eggs.
All the drinks are solid but I particularly enjoyed the tart and refreshing Gold River. It features mezcal and one of my favorite liqueurs, the Grand Poppy from Greenbar distillery. This drink almost seems healthy with turmeric and spice from habanero.
Gold River – mezcal, Grand Poppy amaro liqueur, apricot, turmeric, habanero, agave, lime, smoked salt
endive and beet salad
We had a gorgeous endive and beet salad. It was beautifully composed and it was almost a shame to destroy it by making sure the dressing covered everything.
The Dream Well is essentially a whisky sour with pear brandy. Or is is a mash up of a whisky sour and a pisco (brandy) sour?
Dream Well – scotch whisky, pear brandy, egg white, honey, lemon, Angostura bitters
I had actually ordered crab rice but we got the moules mariniere which turned out to be a good choice. The mussels were very fresh. Per usual I didn’t use much of the provided sauce as I found the shellfish quite flavorful. We made sure to sop up the broth with our well-buttered bread.
The King Mambo is a grown up tropical drink with both rhum and rum. The orgeat is subtle and created a silky mouthfeel.
King Mambo – rhum, rum, hibiscus, passion fruit, orgeat, cinnamon, lime
I was trying to decide between the fish or the chicken and our server suggested both. Well, perhaps I’ll get the fish next time. We got the very juicy chicken diable. I thought we had just breast at first but the spinach hides a nice chunk of dark meat. I did wish for crab rice at this point but hey, (almost) low-carb is probably a good route to go.
chocolate and peanut butter mousse
I wanted to try the chocolate and peanut butter tart but now Barbette is making it as a mousse. The cherries were fun.
I really had a great time at Barbette. When it gets a little warmer, I’d like to sit outside on the patio. And the bar was packed! That’d also be a fun spot to enjoy the fantastic drinks. Until then, I recommend reservations for dinner.