18 Places to Score Tableside Cocktail Service Across America

18 Places to Score Tableside Cocktail Service Across America

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No need to fight elbows for an open spot at the bar. There's a growing movement of restaurants and bars embracing tableside cocktail service, meaning the bar comes to you.

18 Places
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    For those wanting to think outside the Negroni box, this Italian newbie has a special large format Bespoke Negroni program where guests can mix and match spirit (gin, vodka or whisky); vermouth (Carpano, Americano Bianco, St. Germain); and amari (Campari, Cynar, Aperol). The server then builds the Negroni and presents it bottled on ice to minimize tableside dilution. [Photo: Florian Cafe]
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    At Maloney & Porcelli in New York, Martini cart service arrives tableside with a choice of vodkas like Beluga Noble and Absolut, as well as gins like Hendricks and New York gin Seneca Drums. Select from two housemade brines: dirty olive or dirty pepperocini. And customize with a variety of garnishes, from a lemon twist to a lemon-olive stuffed peppadew. [Photo: Maloney & Porcelli]
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    Pan Am-dressed servers push vintage Delta Airlines drink carts around the restaurant, serving up canned Negronis and Bloody Marys, as well as "Odder Pops," a boozy and therefore more delicious version of that childhood classic. Odder Pops are housemade, packaged cocktails that the server dunks in liquid nitrogen before passing to the guest. Flavors vary, but during happy hour try the Zombie (Bacardi Superior, Gosling rum, passion fruit, orange juice, lime, and Angostura bitters) and end dinner with an Appletini. [Photo: Caroline Pardilla]
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    For a real show, order up the fiery Leap of Faith service at Esquire's best new restaurant Faith & Flower. A server will roll over a bar cart with absinthe bottles, then coat a snifter with absinthe and ignite it. While everyone at the table oohs and aahs, the blue flamed liquid is poured into a rocks glass filled with root beer and a large ice cube. But before taking a sip of the sweet concoction, the guest is invited to inhale the remaining absinthe vapor left in the snifter, sip the cocktail, and then finally exhale to enhance their drinking experience. [Photo: Faith & Flower]
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    One of the welcome new elements of the recently revamped Restaurant 1833, besides the addition of chef Jason Franey from Seattle’s Canlis, is a Martini cart. The cart will arrive tableside delivering all the necessary Martini ingredients, including house pickled onions and blue cheese stuffed olives. [Photo: Restaurant 1833]
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    The Palm Court of the Plaza Hotel is where one goes to luxuriate in cha-ching cocktails like a $3,000 Sidecar and a $225 tequila Manhattan. And then there's the tableside Martinis which are rolled over on a vintage martini cart. Guests can choose from vodka (Chopin Potato Vodka or Ketel One Vodka) or gin (Tanqueray Ten Gin or Plymouth Gin) and have the cocktail made at their table. [Photo: The Palm Court at The Plaza]
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    Since the Knickerbocker is the Martini's rumored birthplace, the lounge of the brand-new Charlie Palmer at the Knick will roll out a custom Martini cart. It serves the classic Martini, stirred, with Tanqueray No. TEN Gin, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Cocchi Torino Vermouth, and orange bitters. [Photo: Charlie Palmer at The Knick]
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    It's easy to get overwhelmed by the 1,500 spirits at Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library. Fortunately, whether the guest orders a rare Scotch or a house cocktail like the Marquis Cocktail (Clynelish 14-year Single Malt, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Gran Classico Bitter and lemon peel), the drink will arrive tableside via a cart, along with a presentation, a story, and even education. [Photo: Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library}
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    The Italian restaurant already has a fully stocked Bloody Mary bar available during brunch, but it also rolls out a special cart outfitted with all the fixings one needs to create the ultimate Mary. However, guests who don't want the guesswork can always choose a pre-determined Mary like the El Guapo, with blanco tequila, chipotle, tomato, cilantro, and Cholula hot sauce. [Photo: Davanti Enoteca]
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    Fine dining gives way to fine cocktailing at Jeffrey's, where servers present a fully stocked Martini cart that not only possesses vodka and gin, but whiskey, should guests crave an Old Fashioned instead of a Martini. [Photo: Casey Dunn]
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    For whiskey lovers, there's a rotating collection of Japanese whisky and customizable bourbon flights both served on a snazzy wood and gold-rimmed bar cart at Bourbon Steak. The whiskies come from chef Michael Mina's whiskey selection and are accompanied by accouterments for a DIY tasting. Expect orange peel and cinnamon stick garnishes, ice spheres, and a torch to warm up pairing essences, which will enhance certain characteristics of the whiskey. [Photo: Bourbon Steak]
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    Guests can call over Travelle’s cocktail cart and select from five different whiskies for their Manhattan or try a Smoke Cocktail. A bartender makes the latter by mixing overproof saccharum, pineapple, and clove. He/she then torches orange and cloves, collecting the smoke in a rocks glass. The drink is finally poured into the smoke-filled glass. [Photo: Travelle]
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