The Thistle Hill Tavern has been a welcome addition to the South Slope, with a pub-like interior that somehow also feels open and airy, thanks to a wall full of windows. The owners/partners, who include alums from 'inoteca and Niagara, have created a neighborhood spot serving a European and Mediterranean influenced menu with the now requisite locally sourced, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. It was bustling on a recent Friday night, but a reasonable, short wait brought our party to a table.
John Bush has created a modestly priced cocktail list—most are $10—and the house cocktail is a great place to start. As dusk settled into evening, with a view of their pretty stained glass window featuring the Brooklyn Bridge and a stunning purple thistle flower, it served as a perfect transition from the busy week into the relaxing weekend. A riff on a Manhattan (it is Brooklyn, after all), a blended scotch serves as the whisky base rather than rye or bourbon, and the Fee Brothers Orange Bitters teases out the orange notes of the Carpano Antica.
Thistle Hill Cocktail
3 parts Famous Grouse 2 parts Carpano Antica sweet vermouth 2 dashes Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
Pour ingredients over ice; stir until well-chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an Italian amarone cherry.
Thistle Hill Tavern
441 7th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215 (map) 347-599-1262