A Great Place in the Sixth Borough, Florida!
There’s a New Yorker cover from the Seventies in which three quarters of the image is the West Side of Manhattan while the remaining fourth of the page is the highly compressed continental US, Pacific Ocean and Japan. In other words, perspective for some New Yorkers ends at the Hudson River!
This totally ignores the beautiful cycle of New York in that people from across the world come to New York because it’s diverse and New York is diverse because its filled with people from all backgrounds.
And back in St. Augustine, Florida , just 25 minutes away from my tiny hometown of Palm Coast, I found a place called The Ice Plant that made me say, “I feel like I’m in New York!” I’m not trying to be a snob, but there is a serious problem when there is genuine excitement over the opening of an Outback Steakhouse.
At The Ice Plant I started with a barrel-aged Martinez which had gin, vermouth, maraschino liquor and bitters. With no ice or mixer, this was a STRONG drink to everyone that tasted it. However by aging all ingredients together in a wooden barrel, the mixologist added oak notes and softened the drink so it had all of the robustness but none of the liquory burn. My second cocktail was aptly titled “The F-Word” and it contained Fernet Branca, St. Germain, Dolin Genepy, house-made grenadine, cucumber and lime. Quite honestly, I had not tasted any of the liquors in that drink but it surprised me as an herbal soother that could easily sneak up on you.
Part of me regrets not going for the vodka and ginger Florida Mule that came with the deliciously refreshing pebbled ice or a bourbon cocktail that would come with an ice sphere, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have the drinks with those ingredients that I had never seen together.
Food is often an afterthought or a complete absence at many great bars, but here there’s something to balance your stomach after that third cocktail. I had the Bourbon BBQ Pulled Pork Sammy which was more vinegar and less glop on the barbecue sauce. Perfect acid for cutting through any drink!
With the most expensive single drink only $12, the only complaint people might have would be the lack of draft beer. But you’re not the person to order a burger at a steakhouse, are you?
LOCATION: 110 Riberia St., St. Augustine, Florida
PHONE: (904) 829-6553
HOURS: 5:00pm – 2:00am Daily
RESERVATIONS: First Come, First Serve