The Gilt Club. Unique and Unexpected.


In a word, they are frenemies: that interesting class of people who enter our lives as both a welcome and exceedingly annoying challenge.  They bring adventure (read drama), debate (read agitation) and, in an odd turn of events, sometimes they even bring support through their unhinging opposition. And it was just such a meeting with my yearlong arch frenemy that I was introduced to The Gilt Club.

In fact, I was surrounded by three people, all of whom maintain a very special place in my life.  “My neighbor,” a woman of profound complexity with heart and compassion fully supported by her wit and depth, Mr. Garnish Gobbler himself, a former best friend turned enemy turned best friend again, and “Andrew,” a fellow I’ve long known through the proverbial grapevine and one who I must for better or worse classify as my frenemy.

The Gilt Club lends itself to such a mix of interesting individuals, and perhaps more importantly, The Gilt Club lends itself to adventure.  A large variety of liquor infusions combined with classic cocktails kicked up by unique twists provide the perfect environment for new and old to collide.  After perusing the long list of intriguing cocktails, I couldn’t help but order the Bloody Martini, described as “House cucumber &/or serrano pepper vodka w/a fresh tomato, garlic & herb ‘consommé’ - up with house made horseradish salt.”

I was given the choice among serrano infused vodka, cucumber infused vodka or a mixture of the two.  Taking the advice of my friendly bartender, I chose to go with the spicier version and went all serrano.  A healthy pour of vodka later, I was presented with a light and fresh tomato ‘consommé’ laden bloody mary served in a salt rimmed, well garnished martini glass.

The serrano infused vodka was by far the most prominent flavor, providing both a spicy kick and vodka bite.  The consommé was light and fresh but under seasoned in and of itself.  I like to think this was but a sly and ingenious move to force your incorporation of the salted martini glass rim to achieve that boost of salty seasoning expected of bloody marys.  Either way, it elevated the seasoned rim from mere ornamentation to highly functional, a first in my bloody mary book.  The garnish of freshly sliced cucumbers and a plump olive also provided a classy touch.

By fusing the bloody mary and the classic vodka martini, The Gilt Club created a light but savory and very stiff Bloody Martini.  So as friends and enemies both new and old collide, I will take a play from Gilt’s book.  Change may just lead to a welcomed surprise of something both unique and unexpected.

3 Celery Stalks

The Gilt Club 306 Northwest Broadway, Portland, Oregon 97209.  T: (503) 222-4458. [wpgmza id="31"]

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