By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
Gallery Bar 1930 recently opened in Gallery 1930 art studio in Mountain Brook’s English Village, alongside its sister restaurant, Vino. Restaurateur Al Rabiee and his son Matthew, bar manager of Vino and Gallery Bar 1930, greet us at the front door. Inside, original art adorns the walls. Gallery Bar 1930 is an upscale cocktail and oyster bar.
Cocktail consultant Feizal Valli trained the staff and helped stock the bar with the best spirits. As we look over the drink list, Matthew inquires what we like and then steers us to drinks with those flavor profiles. The menu includes specialty cocktails, grower Champagnes, and a variety of oysters from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Vino’s dinner menu is also available here. Tonight, we taste five among the specialty cocktail list: The Regan Years, Season of the Witch, Mississippi Mongoose, Pimm’s Cup, and The Woodsman.
The Regan Years is a drink I do not want to miss since I do indeed miss those years. This drink is orange in color and is served in a lowball glass on the big rock. It is a citrusy mix of bourbon, green chartreuse, aperol, Regan’s Orange Bitters, and orange zest. Another tasty orange sipper is the Season of the Witch, which is served in a martini glass and integrates Bombay Gin, cappalletti, Liquer Strega, and lemon zest.
For those who prefer a touch of sweet, the Mississippi Mongoose is made of Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, organic lemon local honey, and bitters. Organic egg whites add a delicate, frothy topping. A classic Pimm’s Cup pleases with Pimms, lemon, simple syrup, lemon soda, mint, and a cucumber slice wrapped inside the glass as a garnish.
And for this lady, the Woodsman is my favorite of the evening. Lovely, deep layers of Bulleit Rye, Domain de Canton Ginger Liqueur, lemon, and maple make a marvelous mix. It is garnished with fresh rosemary, which lends its aromas but does not flavor the cocktail. And as our final sip, we toast Gallery Bar 1930’s opening with a taste of Pouillon Brut, NV, a lovely hand-crafted grower Champagne. We will be back soon. This is our kind of place.