Monday, September 10, 2007

Museum Cocktails

I was recently near Madison Avenue in the 30s and needed a place to lunch, so I thought I'd try the Dining Room in the Morgan Library for a hoot. I hadn't seen the museum since its renovation and that moment I somehow relished the idea of a quiet, stuffy afternoon dining with some Ladies Who Lunch.

What I did not expect was the fantastic cocktail menu that was handed me. Someone at the Morgan obviously cares about cocktails, for, though the list was short, it was choice. A Pimm's Cup was on offer. So was Death in the Afternoon, made with real absinthe, and a favorite classic of mine: the Aviation Cocktail (gin, maraschino liqueur, fresh lemon). You have to admire a bar that contains Pimm's, absinthe and maraschino liqueur. After each item, the cocktail's ingredients were listed, as well as a one-sentence history of the drink and an estimated year of birth.

I ordered the Aviation and it was superlative. I was nearly dancing in my chair. My joy increased when I saw they Brander, one of my favorite Californian Sauvignon Blancs, by the glass. And to top it all off, the Pierpont Salad (Smoked Chicken, Romaine, Crispy Pancetta, White Beans, Sweet Tomatoes, Vermont Cheddar, Mustard Vinaigrette) was fantastic.

So, if you're on Madison and thirsty, go. The Morgan is a sanctum of civility.

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