The highly-anticipated Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour opened its doors for a few hours Thursday night to give guests a taste of downtown's newest hotspot before officially opening Friday, May 30.
Saying that people were eager to get in would be an understatement. The bar area was full before the event began at 6 p.m., some guests were turned away when the restaurant became too packed as the night progressed, and the chicken and dumplings dish was sold out about an hour into the event.
However, we have to tip our hats to owner and mixologist Ross Simon and his staff for keeping the drinks flowing and the guests happy while offering the entire food menu and 24-page cocktail menu.
We were lucky to grab a table early on in the night and sample several cocktails and a few of executive chef Bob Tam's creations.
We loved the customization of the market price drinks, choosing to liven up our Caipirinha and Mojito with passion fruit and peach, and the Jaffa Daiquiri kept us guessing exactly what we were tasting in its Creole Shrubb.
We couldn't leave before ordering the Corpse Reviver No. Blue, which seemed to glow in the dark with its nearly neon hue. Made with gin, Senior Curacao blue, Lillet Blanc, and absinthe, it packed a punch while still being drinkable.
We had hoped to taste the spring chicken and dumplings, but ended up waiting too long to order and were told it was sold out. So we opted for the smashed chips and the tsukemen ramen instead.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The chips were spicy, flavorful and perfectly crunchy on the outside while remaining soft and airy on the inside. The ramen, on the other hand, was a bit dry as the 18-hour broth came on the side and didn't come close to filling up the bowl. The noodles tasted overly floury, but we couldn't get enough of the thick-cut slabs of bacon and marinated mushrooms.
Our favorite dish was by far The Kraken with perfectly charred cuttlefish, delicate glass noodles, and an abundance of Thai basil that cut through and balanced out the overall smokiness of the dish.
We're definitely looking forward to returning and trying more at this cocktail parlor. Take a peek at our first visit to Bitter & Twisted and check out the complete slideshow for more.