The New Menu at The Lion’s Share Has a Story to Tell
Bar manager Jason O’Bryan took inspiration from the restaurant’s quirky paintings
The Port of Call, made with chamomile-infused bourbon, lemon, Amaro Montenegro, and orgeat | Photo: Jason O'Bryan
It seemed inevitable that the paintings of humans with animal heads (or animals with human bodies) and other oddities adorning the walls of The Lion’s Share would one day inspire a cocktail menu. How could they not? If the cuddly giant squid with its tentacles wrapped around a ship doesn’t scream, “How about some tiki cocktails?” then nothing does.
To organize the new menu, bar manager Jason O’Bryan picked six paintings that best fit with the menu’s six themes, which range from seasonal cocktails to slow sippers (“Take No Prisoners”) and fancy nonalcoholic drinks. That giant squid painting opens the section “On a Boat,” which includes two tiki-style cocktails and the ocean-air-inspired Salt and Flattery (tequila, pear brandy, blanco vermouth, Luxardo Bitter Bianco, lemon, and salt), which garnered a feature in this month’s Imbibe magazine.
Since the restaurant’s name comes from the title of an Aesop’s Fable, O’Bryan put his English-major skills to work and wrote a fable of his own explaining each painting—but there’s a catch. Each one has a beginning, end, and a moral, but the bulk of the tale is missing. It’s up to your cocktail-fueled imagination to fill in the middle. It’s an all-around good time; cheers to O’Bryan for making me laugh and cry. (Teaser: The giant squid’s name is Kevin and he’s in love with a sailboat named Marcy.)
O’Bryan says the menu’s a favorite of his: “Lots of staff collaboration, and the drinks are really good.”
A perfect summer cocktail, under the “Bright” section, is the Roman Honeymoon. It’s simple but brilliant. You get a tall glass of prosecco and soda water over ice and an adorable little glass bottle of Crodino, a bittersweet Italian soda from the folks who make Campari. It’s up to you to decide how much Crodino you want in your cocktail, and you can slowly add it while you sip. There’s also the Corn Star, under the “In Season” section. Inspired by Mexican street corn, it’s made with tequila, mezcal, Ancho Reyes, lime, Tajín, and roasted corn syrup.
Fans of something boozier can’t go wrong with Serious George, under the “Take No Prisoners” section. It’s made with banana-infused rum, coffee liqueur, a macadamia nut orgeat, and mole bitters.
For wine drinkers, there’s a new wine list, curated by O’Bryan’s wife, Victoria, an advanced sommelier. And for longtime Lion’s Share fans, don’t fret—the menu leads off with 12 classics, like St. Elizabeth’s Sexy Party, Monks Gone Wild, and Federal Buffalo Stamp.
Got ideas for a future post? Email me.