I first went to Cane and Grain around this time last year. It had just opened, and my friend Emma and I ate too many ribs and sides. No, there was no learning from this on the subsequent visit. Their hidden First Floor Bar has become a bit of a favourite of mine recently, with its ambient seating area, elegant cocktails and terrifying taxidermy light fittings. The staff are always an utter delight to have a chat to, and are well versed in the drinks and food they serve.
So then, off we trot the other day to check out some of the brand new cocktails, which were helped along with some of the tantalising meaty treats as mentioned above.
We were greeted by Jen; a lovely bubbly lady with a genuine enthusiasm for everything she described to us. We agreed that the best way forward was to remove any element of choice, as everything sounded far too wonderful to possibly choose between them.
I'm going to cover cocktails first, as the second you clap eyes on the food, you're going to be transported elsewhere for a bit.
1862 (left): A strong bourbon based number with a peppermint kick.
Amaretto Sour (right): Sour but with sweet almond from the Amaretto.
Corn n'oil (left): Another strong one, this time rum based with a hint of lime.
Casablanca (right): More rum, but with tropical flavours. A bit cakey, this can only be a good thing.Bees Gimlet (left): Gin with syrup and honey. Sweet and simple, again with dessert-like qualities.
Ramos Gin Fizz (right): Creamy cocktails turn my stomach as I'm not a fan of milk, however, this opened my mind! Gorgeous. Gin based with egg whites, citrus and sugar syrup.
So to the food. I should have taken pictures of our hands and the table afterwards. Sauce bloody everywhere!
Truffle Cheese Fries: Seriously, Cane and Grain do amazing fries. Never underestimate a good portion of fries folks. Recall how disappointed you are when you get a pale, limp chip? These are golden and crisp and salty. Yes. I didn't have these particular ones as I have a very melodramatic reaction to truffle, and my eyes were on the prize that was the 'Hot as F*ck' item below...Hot As F*CK Fries: Christ alive. Happiness is hot as f*ck fries. Fries, Monterey Jack, Louisiana hot sauce, crispy onion bits and wait for it... bacon wrapped jalapenos! Anger has set in. I need these now. I'm having a Chinese for tea, but it's just not going to cut it.
Carolina Slaw: I've become very fond of this kind of 'slaw. This is what happens when your co-diners are generally adverse to mayo. Crunchy veg with a tangy dressing.
Go to Cane and Grain if you love cocktails, bones covered in barbecued meat, and a belting chat with the folk who serve them.
Disclaimer: We were invited to the First Floor Bar to try the new menus. We were under no obligation to say nice stuff about them, or clean the table with wet wipes afterwards, but it was quite frankly a slip hazard.