hanging out in Andersonville

I know I’ve mentioned on here a bunch of times how much I like my Edgewater/Andersonville neighborhood, but I can’t stop. The north side is a great little area. It’s been almost two months since BK was here last, so I was thrilled to have him here again this past weekend.

After he arrived Friday night, we decided to head to Andersonville for some dinner and drinks. It was a nice night for a walk – warmish with just a light breeze. I really wanted to go to Hopleaf but the staff quoted us a 1.5-2 hour wait and the bar area was jam packed. No thanks. We wandered on, eventually stopping in at Acre, a gastropub-type place with a large selection of small plates. BK and I are big fans of places with a good selection of small plates, in part because neither of us likes to commit to just one dish and it’s just way more fun to share.

I started with the Swedish Fizz cocktail, a nod the hood’s Scandinavian roots in the form of a concoction of gin, lemon, lingonberry preserves and club soda. We started off with the deviled eggs with smoked trout — which were absolutely delicious — and the mussels cooked with cream, green peas and sea asparagus.  I think I’ve finally met a green vegetable I don’t like. I found the taste of the sea asparagus to be kind of rank and the smell got to me so bad that I had to move the dish away from my side of the table. I’m trying to decide how to describe it – rancid seaweed? Like a mouthful of dirty tidepool water? The actual mussels were very well-cooked though.

For our next pair of dishes, we got a plate of housemade curry and andouille lamb sausages served with a nice grainy mustard and roast potatoes. These were absolutely delicious. We needed some veggies to balance out all of this protein so we also opted for a salad of pea tendrils, boiled egg, snow peas, radishes and a carrot vinaigrette. I went for a martini, slightly dirty,  for this set.

We weren’t ready to call it a night yet so after Acre, we walked on to In Fine Spirits. This cozy little wine bar and lounge offers a very cool list of specialty cocktails and a menu featuring lots of locally-sourced meats, cheeses and veggies. One side of the menu even lists every farm and local producer the joint works with. I appreciate that a lot. I had the Blue Moon – made with Broken’s gin, creme de violette and lemon. I really liked how they served the cocktail glass with a skewer of lemon peel laid across the mouth – it provided a nice olfactory sensation to accompany the taste of the cocktail. BK had the Old-Timer cocktail made with a thyme-infused Hayman’s gin, lemon, simple syrup and Barrett’s ginger beer. It was sooo good- I could easily have drank a bunch of them. It would be a great summer afternoon cocktail.

Isn’t this a lovely shade of purple?
We were pretty stuffed from Acre but we had to at least try something. They have a decent list of charcuterie – pick and choose three for $15- but they were happy to accomodate our desire to just try the Iowa-made prosciutto. It was served with a nice spicy mustard, candied red onions, pea shoots, cornichons and an apricot chutney that I just loved. Lucky for me, my partner wasn’t digging it so I happily ate all of it. 
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