Destination: Small Batch
Local restaurateur David Bailey has managed to successfully pile yet another project onto his plate – Small Batch, which officially opened its doors just after the new year. Unlike his other restaurants (Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar, Bailey’s Range, Rooster and Bailey’s Chocolate Bar), his newest venture is boasting an all-vegetarian menu along with a whiskey driven beverage program.
Located in the middle of Midtown’s up-and-coming business district, the two-storied Small Batch sits on the corner of Locust Street and Garrison Avenue. Soft lighting, clean lines and dark accents make the interior warm and welcoming despite the towering ceilings. The bar provides the best perch for viewing the ever-expanding collection of whiskies housed at Small Batch. The bartenders estimated the most recent count of the collection to have surpassed 80.
Thus, the cocktail menu is laden with whiskey drinks, such as numerous riffs on the Manhattan and the creamy “Derby Pie” with pecan bourbon and Frangelico hazelnut liquor, but not without other spirits entirely. Their Old Fashioned is a south-of-the-border twist on a Midwestern classic, muddling grapefruit bitters with sugar cubes before stirring in two Mexican spirits – tequila and mezcal. Also, beer drinkers should be pleased by the strong showing of local brews on tap. Small Batch’s Midtown neighbors, Urban Chestnut, made the list along with other regional favorites and the Bailey restaurant exclusive, 4 Hand’s Breakfast Beer.
For dinner, diners can mix and match from the small fare plates that range from $4 to $10 or choose entrée-sized portions priced in the teens. The wide variety of options highlights the trendiest international flavors and makes the lack of meat barely noticeable. The smoked brie small plate with marmalade and arugula served with crispy flatbread or the gratin with caramelized grapes, rosemary and goat cheese will certainly satiate guests. Hearty entrées, such as the the vegetarian pho, will also satisfy diners with its deep flavors from mushroom and shallot wontons, sliced scallions and a ginger, lemongrass broth. Even traditional burger lovers should enjoy Small Batch’s vegetarian version, made with a corn fritter, bean spread, Chihuahua cheese, avocado and special Rooster sauce.
To end the meal, diners can be tempted by the few, but mighty dessert options. A warm lemon-ricotta tart with fig and ginger jam or the decadent Bailey’s chocolate brownie should satisfy any sweet tooth. Even vegans can even indulge in an after-dinner treat of ice cream topped with a warm berry compote.
Open for dinner Sunday through Wednesday from 5pm to 11 and Thursday through Saturday from 5pm to 1am, though Bailey hopes to be open for lunch in the near future. 3001 Locust St., Midtown, 314.494.2174.