With Goose & Gander opening tonight, the former Martini House restaurant has been given an Aspen-ski-lodge-meets-duck-hunting-club makeover, with decoys and antique weapons, but it's the downstairs bar run by bar manager Scott Beattie that has us the most excited.
With help from Michael Pazdon (formerly of SolBar), the duo has created a 40-odd drink list that aims to "offer accessible drinks for everybody," explained Beattie. The cocktails will boast the signature seasonal styles that Beattie is known for. He's again working with farms like La Bonne Terre Farms for edible flowers, but the list will lean towards brown spirits and tall drinks, all served in vintage glassware with hand-cut ice to allow you to warm up on a cold day near the fireplaces, or enjoy the sun outside in the patio in the warmer months.
Look for drinks like the Bali Spice Old Fashioned ($11, St. George Breaking & Entering Bourbon, orange, cinnamon, clove, star anise) and Mellivora Capensis ($11, Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon, Dewar's Scotch, lemon, honey, chili, black cardamom, apple-coconut foam) for a post hunt warm-up. If you find yourself on the patio, consider the coolers that include a Cucumber Collins ($11, Square One Cucumber Vodka, lemon, yuzu, seltzer, fresh and pickled cucumbers), or a Martini House style Mojito. What you won't see is too many tequila drinks, with La Condesa down the street.
Even if Nintendo's "Duck Hunt" is a close as we have ever gotten to tracking and bagging water fowl, some creative sounding drinks and duck-fat fries should be all the reasons we need to head up valley.
Goose & Gander, 1245 Spring (at Oak), St. Helena, (707) 967-8779