I'm eating my way through Diablo Magazine's 101 Best Bites and giving you my thoughts, protests, and points of agreement. I'm starting cheap and working my way up, because internships don't pay that well and cable is expensive.
I had to yoink this picture from yelp because I am one of the most paranoid people when it comes to taking pictures. Especially when it's 8pm on a Friday night, I'm by myself seated at a dark bar, and the Giants are down by 5 runs. It doesn't foster a friendly atmosphere for making friends with your neighbors, much less the bartender, who assumes you're going to slam them on yelp. So I pretended to seriously consider the menu, which had many drinks that looked more appealing to my sensibilities (gin, elderflower, cream), before convincing the bartender that his powers of persuasion had steered me toward The Brooklyn.
The coolest thing about The Brooklyn (a mix of rye, vermouth, amaro, and orange bitters) is the ice. They hand carve the ice into a giant ball, which reduces the melting time and hence the amount of water that dilutes your drink. The drink itself reminds me of a negroni with rye instead of gin, and less of that sharp, citrus due to the lack of campari. The spiciness of the rye plays well off of the amaro and orange bitters, and overall the cocktail is well-balanced and enjoyable, even for gin-lovers like myself. I can't say it's my favorite cocktail on the menu (I favor the Lonsdale and Clover Leaf), it's a solid choice in a place that's helping elevate Walnut Creek's cocktail scene with fresh-squeezed juices, hand-carved ice, and a careful approach to ingredients.
1677 N. Main St., Walnut Creek