Williams & Graham just celebrated its first birthday. And although the new take on an old-style speakeasy at 3160 Tejon Street hit some bumps on the road to opening -- including a liquor-license snafu -- the path has been clear since it opened last November.
In fact, the place is usually packed, and a table here should be a hot ticket over the holidays, especially since co-owner Sean Kenyon just rolled out a roster of $10 holiday libations -- including a Tom & Jerry, a classic that dates back to the 1850s; a hot toddy with Buffalo Trace Bourbon; and a blue Blazer made with Glenlivet Nadurra Scotch whiskey, sugar, lemon peel and Angostura bitters, flamed -- to go with his new drink lineup. There's a new food menu, too. See also: - David Bumgardner, exec chef of Williams & Graham, on moving your ass - Food & Wine magazine names Williams & Graham one of the Top 10 Best New Bars in the U.S. - Best Contemporary Cocktail Bar 2012: Williams & Graham
The new food menu is now separate from the book-like cocktail menu -- which makes it easier for diners to find, and also easier for chef David Bumgardner to update when the mood strikes. "It allows me a little more freedom," he says. "I think it's going to be more indicative of what I'd like to do going forward."
Instead of introducing an entirely new menu every three months, he'll be rolling out new dishes from time to time, a plan that works better with "small kitchen, small staff, no time," Bumgardner points out. "I'm planning to stay seasonal, but we have some items that people really love, and we want to keep them on as long as possible. Still, changing it up every once in a while certainly helps."
So on that new menu, he says, "I rolled out ten apps, including eight brand-new ones and two changes: the new version of the popcorn and the new version of the deviled eggs. There are also two brand-new sandwiches, and a change to our popular duck sandwich, which makes it a little more wintery."
But not too holiday-centric. "I'm trying not to get too holiday-ish with the food, mostly because holiday times are very particular kinds of food, and everyone has them everywhere they go with their family," Bumgardner says. "People may find it refreshing to not have to eat turkey and cranberry sauce again."
But while cranberry sauce may not make an appearance at Williams & Graham over the next month, you can expect other surprises. "I have a few more new things in the works," Bumgardner promises. "I want to save some ammunition for Christmas."
In the meantime, if you're in mood for holiday drinks, keep reading for Kenyon's cocktail lineup:
Holiday Libations each $10
Tom & Jerry A holiday classic, this recipe dates back to the 1850's. Flor de Caña 7yr rum, Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac, egg, cream, sugar, allspice, cinnamon, clove & nutmeg, served hot.
Irish Coffee Traditional. Served in the Buena Vista fashion with Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, turbinado sugar syrup, Daz Bog coffee and stiff cream served hot.
Spiked Nog Egg Nog with your choice of Sailor Jerry Spiced Navy Rum or Rittenhouse Rye whiskey.
Hot Toddy Traditional. Buffalo Trace Bourbon, honey, fresh lemon juice, hot water
Chai Toddy Flor de Caña 7yr rum, turbinado sugar syrup, chai tea, cream, served hot
Blue Blazer Traditional. Glenlivet Nàdurra scotch whisky, sugar, lemon peel, angostura bitters, flamed.
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