The Coolest Drinks and Hottest Dining Spots in Pensacola

Patrick shaking up a drink
The Master working his magic

Union Public House in Pensacola, Florida never fails to deliver the best in drinking and dining for us! We stopped in to get our fix of always impeccable concoctions made by the master spirit handler himself Patrick Bolster.  Barry ordered from the drink menu specials–The Birds and  Bees.

chili threads
Birds and Bees

 

 

Made with rum and garnished with Asian chili pepper threads–a new one on me. I just have to get some now!

UPH specialty cocktail
Coconut crème, rum, and mole bitters

Citrus was starting to get to me so I asked Patrick if he could concoct something with Brinley Gold Shipwreck Coconut Rum Cream—as always he delivered divinely! Giffard White Crème de Cacao and rum and mole bitters rounded the cocktail. Damn but I could drink those all night! I will definitely be making those—once I get my hands on the Coconut Rum cream!

I placed an order for a bottle at Bambooze but the delivery truck never showed up after waiting for 3 days!

The Wild Cocktailians can always count on UPH upping the spirits game! Speaking of games, whenever we visit we bring or mention obscure spirits to Patrick in hopes of tripping him up–but we’ve yet to stump him. The man is a wealth of all things cocktail and adult beverage—he’s a walking encyclopedia! Patrick genuinely enjoys sharing his vast knowledge on the how, when, and what—of these spirits. He doesn’t have one iota of superior ‘tude in his bones—like some arrogant bartenders we’ve had the displeasure of enduring! That’s why we go to cocktail establishments to learn, understand and use different spirits and ultimately recapture the occasions at home!

De rigueur for our hunger was Chef Blake’s fine charcuterie—this time deftly prepared Beef Carpaccio! The only criticism of the dish: should have ordered TWO! Chef Blake could show some of the New Orleans chefs a thing or three on cured meats—dude has some SERIOUS street culinary cred!

Chartreuse Swizzle
My Chartreuse Swizzle in the works

 

Wrapping up our final night in Pensacola (aka Paradise) we had early reservations at UPH to enjoy a full-up dinner there. I’d sent Patrick a recipe for a Chartreuse Swizzle that I found on Neat Pour –another local blog we just discovered.

 

UPH speciality cocktail
Chartreuse Swizzle

Move over Mojitos and Juleps—THIS should be the quintessential quaffer for New Orleans summer—sublime sophistication! Barry so enjoyed the Birds N Bees from the other night he ordered another.

The meal started with an app and salad: Shishito peppers blistered and presented in a small cast iron skillet (say that 5 times) sprinkled with light dusting of coarse fleur de sel and coated in a lovely olive oil.

salad
beet and goat cheese mousse salad

Salad was composed of brilliant bits of lightly pickled beets, baby greens, candied walnuts, shaved parmesan curls, and tucked throughout an addictive truffled goat cheese mousse all delicately coated with a beet and balsamic vinaigrette!

Supper was a seafood affair (hey it was Friday) Swordfish for me, Scallops for Barry. My Sword was a 2-inch thick filet and cooked to perfection! It came with black-eyed pea fritters—I sure wish I’d had more of the truffled goat cheese to slather on them! Served with arugula salad, heirloom tomato, sun chokes and topped with a red-eye gravy the ingredients not only satiated me but portions are very generous.

Barry’s diver scallops were large and plentiful—and the succotash is enough to convert any meat eater to vegetarian! A smoked potato croquette and King Oyster mushrooms masterfully completed the dish!

We each had a glass of wine with dinner—and the wine list succinct but varied in varietals and price.

You’d think with all that there wouldn’t be room for dessert. It’s a vast

dessert
Smoked sweet potato Brulee

understatement to say Pastry Chef Corey Wall has upped UPH dessert game! Her pastries should almost be illegal as they’re so surreal! Our waiter Alden mentioned the magic word Crème Brulee we had to order! And no mere run-of-the-mill Brulee either! This was a smoked sweet potato w brown butter gelato and served with dehydrated spice cake and candied walnuts. Now that’s a recipe I’d love to serve to dinner guests! I’m telling you Chef Corey needs to be arrested and do community time at OUR house!