American Poet Robert Frost, most famous for Road Not Taken, sided with those who favored fire for destruction in his poem Fire and Ice. In contemplating a similiar dichotomy between a cocktail, glass of wine or a beer, Nick Sinutko of Iris Food & Spirits Del Mar makes a compelling case for the cocktail.
Several times a year, Iris Bar Manager and Craft Cocktail Artist Nick, revamps the cocktail menu to accent the concurrent shift in the food delights Chef Tommy Golden builds into the season-driven lunch and dinner menu. (Happily, there are favorites that persist like the golden local beet homefries, the Ahi Poke, the Greens and Berries salad and the one that draws my eye without fail, the crispy-skinned duck leg confit.)
But to start date night and often the main attraction throughout: Nick's luscious cocktail selection.
For those of you who toss some bourbon, bitters and vermouth into a shaker and pour out a quick Manhattan, be prepared to be amazed by the carefully crafted and presented artwork, visual and gustatory, in Nick's menu. With poetic titles like Happy Little Clouds, Kentucky Gambler and Naked Firewalk, the ingredients include home-made roasted poblano, a house Plaintain & Chai Cordial and magical, flawlessly clear giant ice cubes manufactured by Nick personally.
Situated just west of I-5 on Carmel Valley Road, Iris Food & Spirits Del Mar looks out over the picaresque Los Penasquitos Lagoon where you can watch the sunset as the train glides through the far side of the look and sip your cocktail.