THE FACTORY KITCHEN
GET YOUR SUMMER DRINKS WHILE YOU STILL CAN
I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, I’m a fan of downtown’s The Factory Kitchen, a truly wonderful and authentic Italian Trattoria. When it opened it was a foodie highlight and now, the cocktails are beginning to match the quality of the cuisine and wine list.
Cocktail program director Jason Chapel is really coming into his own and I dare say the intimate 30-seat bar area is now a definite go-to destination for drinks, and of course you can always count on delicious Italian fare to go with your cocktails.
While certain drinks have stood the test of time on the menu since the restaurant’s opening, including the SFactory 1923, a gin based drink, and the Yosemite Sam, a great mix of Templeton Rye, aperol, amaro averna and lemon, isn’t going anywhere soon, the new drinks for the summer season are as impressive if not more so.
We started with the Sassafras Fizz, made with a sarsaparilla root liqueur bottled just down the street (talk about local ingredients) along with bourbon, lemon and egg white. It’s a frothy good time in a glass that shines as an aperitif or digestif.
Fans of a stiff Manhattan will appreciate the Brooklyn, made with luxardo maraschino, amer picon and Templeton Rye. This is a potent one and, according to bartender Hillary, pairs well with beef cheek or bone marrow. Sounds like a great combination to me.
A lighter drink perfect for day drinking is the Shake the Blues made with rose infused Plymouth gin, carpana antica and Gran Classico bitters. This drink has a familiar grapefruit taste to it.
Martini drinkers will be fond of the Hop, Skip and a Jump, a boozy mix of Hop Head Vodka, Benedictine, and Noilly Prat dry vermouth. A play on a dirty martini, this cocktail is no joke—serious drinkers will be impressed.
The last of the new summer drinks is the No Woman No Cry, a very nice blend of Smith & Cross rum, Campari and Carpano Antica—this one is great as a digestif and would pair well with dessert. While I liked it a lot, Factory Kitchen owner Matteo Ferdinandi, who was having a drink with me, preferred Campari on a big rock, but then again he’s Italian and it’s what they do.
It’s great to see a place like The Factory Kitchen, which offers some of the best Italian fare in town, up its game and run an impressive bar program, which highlights artisanal cocktails by focusing on texture, subtle acidity and simplicity.
The Factory Kitchen is located at 1300 Factory Place. Call (213) 996-6000.