Bristol sets out to be accessible and fresh and succeeds splendidly. The staff really knows their (fill in the blank). While waiting at the bar, the bartender knew every person who walked in--they'd describe a certain feeling that they were vaguely looking for from a drink and be presented with something that seemed to perfectly satisfy. Their Sazerac was by far the best that I've had in this city yet. A Moscow Mule housed in a little copper cup was biting fresh. And twice throughout the evening, we wanted some sort of clean, well-matched beer with the courses (admitting that my limited scope was not match for their awesomely vast beer list) and left it to our waitress' more than capable hands.
Post Alaska adventure, I have been looking for a match for the Glacier Brewhouse Ale Cheddar Pot. And so, I absolutely fell over myself flagging our waitress as quickly as I could, and yet. Yet. Starting with the Half Acre Beercheese just felt like a stretch. Three bites in and and only after a detailed explanation from our sparkly-eyed waitress did I begin to understand what all was going on. The blue cheese, cheddar cheese and half acre seemed to fight against each other and unfortunately the saltines and slaw couldn't help to pacify the situation. But please let's move on to bigger and better things. Scottish olives? Fabulous- lemon creme fresh balanced perfectly against the salty tang of lightly breaded green olives. Bone Marrow spread? Rivaled that of St. John (the king of 'Nose to Tail charcuterie") according he who was there last April. And Halibut? As one who fished her own halibut in Alaska, it was fresh, perfectly sauteed in lardon on a bed of french green and wax beans. Delightful.
The end of the meal brought what felt like the end of a perfect 7th grade school lunch: chocolate pudding and nutter butters-- grown up style. Pudding drizzled with sharp olive oil and grey sea salt, lightly sprinkled. Nutter butters with just enough salt to crunch through the rich, syrupy pudding. Nice work Bristol.