These days food is a necessity at bars to keep customers throughout the afternoon, evening and night. Reserve 101 finally added a food menu so customers didn't feel the need to leave in search of food after sipping on whiskey and crafty cocktails.
Co-owners Mike Raymond and Steve Long had wanted to develop a food menu for the award-winning whiskey bar since they realized customers began to trickle out the door during happy hour and dinner. And after spending some time with Nico Schibetta and Justin Beals, the two owners realized that all four guys had the same ideas for a food menu at Reserve 101.
"We are still a bar," Raymond says. "Usually people come in as groups and want something to pick at; you're going to want some kind of snack to hold you over until dinner."
Reserve 101's new food menu is made under the direction of Schibetta and Beals, who by the way are only 22 and 23 years old yet have a tremendous amount of experience working in a variety of kitchens and even a food truck, Thrilla Grilla. The duo worked together at Hearsay Gastro Lounge and ERA Restaurant making what the new menu at Reserve 101 focuses on: sandwiches and pizzas.
Raymond explains that the menu will change daily, weekly and seasonally; they want to serve the best of the best for the season and are testing out recipes as much as possible.
"Some things will change because they are out of season," Raymond says. "We are getting produce and bread daily. The idea is that we can mess around with different things."
The new food menu includes a variety of flat breads, sandwiches and even an incredible caprese salad with slices of the freshest and juiciest heirloom tomatoes topped with an IPA-infused balsamic vinegar. Other popular menu items include the slow-roasted pork flat bread topped with pork, pineapple and red peppers, and the fig and porcetta flat bread with figs are soaked in whiskey.
Every menu item is complete with fresh products that successfully incorporate what Reserve 101 does best -- whiskey. From the IPA-infused balsamic vinegar on the caprese salad to the whiskey-soaked figs on the flat bread, the guys at Reserve 101 have created a well-rounded menu.
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"We are running about five or six menu items a day," Raymond says, "the idea is to get to 12 or 15."
Raymond says whiskey cheese fondue, which is a play on beer-cheese soup, will be added to the menu soon, along with beef jerky, a rotating charcuterie and a homemade Bloody Mary jam. Raymond also explains that the Happy Hour menu will include smaller portions and smaller plate offerings at about a $4-5 price range, in comparison to the current $12 menu items.
"The idea is that now that we have food, we can change around how we approach Happy Hour," Raymond says. "I am trying not to overwhelm the staff back of house... The idea is to have that Happy Hour menu out as soon as possible; have the Happy Hour food so we can cater to the nine to fivers down here and have our regular menu until 2 a.m."
Simultaneously, Reserve 101 has unveiled a brand new cocktail menu complete with 28 drinks. Next step will be pairing cocktails with menu items once they have a stable and full menu complete.