The Second Story Liquor Bar Review - Divine Dining By Design

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Crazy. Sexy. Cool. No, I’m not referring to the gals of the famed pop music trio TLC, but rather Scottsdale’s hottest new haunt—The Second Story Liquor Bar. This eclectic eatery is trending as the see-and-be-seen Old town Scottsdale hotspot, and with good reason. The vintage-inspired vibe and visionary victuals at this intimate dining and imbibing venue are as distinctive as they are delightful.

 

Perched atop The Gelato Spot, “SSLB” as it is dubbed overlooks the intersection of Third Avenue and North Scottsdale Road, and is just a short golf cart ride away from the kinetic nightlife in Scottsdale’s downtown entertainment district.

The restaurant is owned and operated by the exceedingly engaging Tommy Plato, who can be seen nightly in the restaurant chatting patrons up tableside. Tommy and his father, Don, meticulously built and designed the location over a 3-year period—an effort that was not in vain.

SSLB boasts a chic and refined atmosphere all its own that’s as alluring as the avant-garde gastronomics it serves. When I first entered the eatery, I was struck by the lounge sensibility of the thoughtfully designed bar and dining space, which all wraps around a stunning crystal chandelier that adds the perfect note of elegance to the space.

The cozy bar shares the restaurant’s open floor plan with four-tops and two-tops aptly positioned for privacy. Outside there is additional two-top balcony seating overlooking the busy street scene below.

Décor-wise, it’s apparent that every detail of the sophisticated interior, including staff styling, was instituted with intention. The wait staff dons lace, pearls and beautifully custom-embroidered aprons, giving patrons the sense that they’ve stepped back in time into a moody members-only club where they can kick back, enjoy a cocktail and stay a while. But, don’t let the old fashioned frocks fool you—the fare here is quite contemporary.

Speaking of cocktails, beverage service at SSLB also breaks out-of-the-box as fine spirits and fresh ingredients spun into both classic and signature concoctions are the backbone of this dining experience where “old school” bartending is reprised. Signature cocktails such as Corpse Reviver ($12)—gin, Lillet blanc, cointreau, creme de violette, and lemon juice—and Stay Nimble ($11)—Buffalo Trace bourbon, Aperol, grapefruit juice, honey syrup and mint—are conceived and served up by the ever-charismatic bar man, John Christie, who frequently leaves the bar to work his own charm on the rest of the room. And it works. Creative cocktails flow amid a lively atmosphere filled with modern music and eager anticipation for the foodstuffs to follow.

During my dinner visit I found the menu, which notably changes not only seasonally but every six weeks, to be delicious indecision. So, rather than opting for just one per-course selection, my party of three decided to share two 6-course tasting menus ($70 each) that would allow us to sample twelve dishes of our choice in total—nearly all of those offered on this adventurous iteration of the SSLB menu.

What an extraordinary decision this turned out to be. In perfectly timed intervals, Executive Chef Josh Bracher, formerly of Posh Restaurant and Capital Grille, sent out one painstakingly plated, expertly-executed dish after the other.

These escalated from the lighter starters to the heavier meat-laden entrees. While each dish was a visual victory unto itself, even more impressive was Chef Bracher’s knack for turning a mélange of components into exquisitely balanced and layered combinations heeding both taste and texture.

Collective favorites from our party’s dual 6-course tasting menus included Ahi Poke Asian Chopped Salad with honey ginger vinaigrette; Mushroom Flatbread with Fontina cheese sauce, skiitake and oyster mushrooms, caramelized onions and truffle oil; Duck Confit with spinach and ricotta gnudi, rapini pesto, golden raisins, brûléed cherry tomatoes and wild mushrooms; Sweet Corn Agnolotti with crab leg meat, truffle butter, lobster mushrooms and sorrel greens; Lamb Chop with goat cheese persillade, charred scallion risotto with caramelized parsnip, honey truffle beet and demi-glace; and Dry Aged Bone-In Rib Eye with miso butter, lemon verbena and honey caramelized turnip, tempura asparagus and Maltese hollandaise.

Although the three of us were sharing a tasting menu built for two, all of us were perfectly satiated by the eighth course as even the sample portions were generous. Even so, there was no choice but to press on amid the culinary drama and intrigue that was unfolding before us.

After gaining a second wind, attentions turned to dessert. In another fun twist that makes this SSLB distinctive, dessert here is “chef’s whim.” There is only one single dessert offering each evening, which is based entirely on what ingredients engage the imagination Chef Bracher at the market earlier that same day. For my visit, we were presented with a brilliant interpretation of a deconstructed blueberry cobbler.

Given my own experience at SSLB, I’ve no doubt this restaurant is well on its way to making an indelible mark on Scottsdale’s burgeoning cuisine scene. It’s certainly an essential itinerary item for any respectable foodie in the vicinity.

~~~

"The Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions can be seen  at www.LuxeListReviews.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

Republished by permission of and provided to Haute-Lifestyle.com by author.

 

Haute Tease

  • River Memories of Summertime Past

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The rushing of fresh water rolling over the romantic rocks of my childhood comes flooding back to me as the lazy days of summertime past fill my memories.

     
  • Hunter Biden, Son of Vice President, Tests Positive for Cocaine Use

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hunter Biden, son of Vice President Joseph Biden has been discharged from his military service in the Navy Reserves after testing positive for cocaine. The discharge took place earlier in this year and information was recently released.

     
  • Hawaiian Islands Dodge Direct Hit; Face Floods, Fire, Power Outages in Wake

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Tropical Storm Lane, downgraded Friday, has left the Big Island, Maui and parts of Oahu, fighting unprecedented flooding as the rainmaker dumped nearly 40inches on the Big Island triggering landslides, swollen rivers, falling trees, and destroyed roads.

     
  • Timeline of Nice Attack; Death Toll Rises; 50 Children Injured; 84 Dead (Graphics)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     

    The death toll in the Nice Bastille Day attack has risen to 84 including two children with 18 other citizens critically wounded and not expected to survive. 50 Children have been injured or maimed in the “obvious terror attack.”

     
  • From Cannes: Belgian Canneseries Contender 'The Twelve' To Have Its World Premiere on April 8th

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Two episodes of the ten-part Belgian series The Twelve, from the writers of the Netflix hit Beau Sejour, will have its world premiere in the official competition at the second edition of CANNESERIES (April 5 - 10 2019).

     
  • Haute Travel: The 20 Most-Visited International Cities of 2015

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As 2015 closes let’s look ahead filled with wanderlust dreaming of destinations unknown and pause to remember memories made with friends, family, that lifetime trip or just the much-needed vacation that gave you an experience you’ll never forget.  

  • HRH Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Expecting; Depart London for Invictus Games in Sydney

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    HRH Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Duchess Meghan, after giving the slightest of hints at the recent wedding of HRH Princess Eugenia and Jack Brooksbank, announced they are expecting with the baby due in the spring.

     
  • Cole Patterson Men’s Skin Care Review – Refreshing Luxury Exclusively for Men

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Cole Patterson, a relatively new name to the men’s grooming market, offers a high end, luxury line of skin care products created exclusively for men who understand cleanser, toner, facials and mask, are necessary for male skin care management.  

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Gov Shut Down, Border/Immigrants, ISIS Attack, Women’s March, May/Brexit, El Chapo, Red Hat Hate

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump and House Majority leader Representative Nancy Pelosi continue to spar over the terms to reopen the longest government shut down in history as more than 800,000 federal employees are poised to miss the payroll deadline again.

     
  • Earth Science: The 18 Deadliest Weather Hazards in America

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Every season, a multitude of natural disasters hits the U.S. From mudslides to avalanches, these hazards cause millions of dollars in damage and affect families nationwide. Sadly, these disasters are often fatal.  

  • LA Lakers Great Tommy Hawkins Pens Reflections from the Soul

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Tommy Hawkins, former Los Angeles Lakers legend who helped shape the dynasty of today, recently launched his first ever narrative book of poetry, Life’s Reflections: Poetry for the People.

     
  • Noticias Telemundo Exclusive: Trump Breaks His Silence and Speaks For The First Time On Hispanic Television

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Noticias Telemundo announced today that Telemundo Anchor José Díaz-Balart will interview President Donald Trump in his first exclusive sit-down interview with a Spanish-language television network during his presidency on Thursday, June 20 at 11 PM ET/10 CT/7 PT.

     
  • Learning to Drive Review - An Adventure Worth Taking

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Learning to Drive, from Broad Green Pictures, presents a contemporary coming of age drama, of modernity and tradition, of culture, guiding principles, the marriage of ying and yang and the desire to fully embrace change.

     
  • Beltway Insider: ISIS Attacks Iraq; Syria Escalation; Election 2016; Ohio Execution Funerals; Jeffrey Katzenberg

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The White House was placed under lockdown twice the past week as two separate confrontations arose causing Secret Service to secure the president inside and respond to intruders breaching the fence, both incidents were deemed non-active threats.

     
  • THE BIBLE, THE TELEVISION EVENT OF THE YEAR SHATTERS HOME ENTERTAINMENT RECORDS

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOS ANGELES, CA, April 8, 2013 – The epic miniseries, THE BIBLE, continues its unprecedented success with its home entertainment launch and quickly became the biggest selling TV on DVD in the last 5 years and the biggest miniseries of all time on Blu-ray™, Digital HD™ and DVD in its first week of release.  THE BIBLE series is flying off store shelves around the country with 525,000 units sold.