The innovative bar concept from owners Jay Bordeleau (Beretta, Bacar) and David Kurtz (Saison, Coi) melds fine dining quality with neighborly attitude. An inventive menu is divided into categories — distilled (cocktails), plated (food), and fermented (wine/beer) — in three correlating columns for seamless food-to-drink tutorials.
The exceptional Chinatown duck sliders ($9 for two), a gooey mash of meat with shiitake mushrooms, bitter greens and bacon on a brioche bun, is designed for the 5 Spot ($11) made with aged rum, ginger, lime, maple, Thai basil and a hint of five-spice; it's a nice pairing, with the flavors in the food subtly echoed in the expertly prepared cocktail. The "fermented pairing" is La Maudite ($9), an amber red ale from Canada with enough strength to stand up to the food.
If you’re coming with a date (and you should), the upstairs mezzanine will serve as a little hideaway. Here, you’ll slide into a fireside sofa, opt for the simpler bites menu, and go the oysters and bubbly route.