Lamb Neck and Rye ($17)
A platter of lamb neck that's slow cooked, spice-crusted, almost like a good pastrami, though the rye in this case is not bread, it's a Preakness cocktail, a rye Manhattan with Benedictine. With a crisp outside crust and a fatty interior that absolutely dissolves on the tongue, it's a beautifully cooked wedge of meat, served with a tomato-anchovy relish that's as pungent as it is delicious. Frankly, you need something powerful to cut through flavors like this, and the spirit-forward Preakness did nicely.
Cocktails ($12 each)
The cocktails at The Beagle are so well balanced and integrated that you may have trouble picking out what's in them—and it's quite possible you've never tasted some of these ingredients before. The Longines (middle) brings together an unlikely mix of gunpowder tea, cognac, fresh lemon, and a touch of Anis del Mono, a Spanish anisette, but no one element dominates. The Queimada Swizzle (left) features an earthy rhum agricole suspended in a mountain of crushed ice, plus lime, pineapple juice, and housemade orgeat syrup. The Commando (right), made with Elijah Craig 12-year Bourbon, orange liqueur, lemon and absinthe is spirit-forward but drinkable, with the absinthe melting seamlessly into the citrusy bourbon.
Served with good prosciutto that's nice and warm on the plate, letting the fat melt on your tongue with the smoky Pimentón de la Vera-spiked honey.
Mussels and Clams ($12)
Stewed in white wine with fennel and lardo, they're served with paper-thin shavings of cured foie gras which melt into them and into the broth. (Foie is a thing, here; we're not complaining.)
Fresh baby corn ($6)
Like little versions of elotes, a traditional Mexican preparation, but made with fresh baby corn—not the canned stuff you get in bad Chinese food. The mayonnaise is the best part.
Poached Egg ($14)
All fresh, all spring: big fat stalks of asparagus, fresh fava beans, and pea tendrils dressed and served warm with a runny poached egg.
Chocolate Custard ($6)
Didn't exactly make itself look appetizing. But we enjoyed its silky smoothness and intense flavors, the surprising but pleasing acid contrast of the grapefruit, and the corn flake brittle—though we could've used a lot more of that last one (partially because we loved it; partially because a pile of softness needs some kind of contrast).
Essentially an oat-studded whipped cream. The early summer strawberries were amazing, and the cream has a way of teasing out the flavors of the Scotch, letting you appreciate them without the accompanying alcoholic hit (though make no mistake, this is a boozy dessert).