Cocktail and Birdcage with Grace and Jazz.
You’ll see illustrated echoes of Jazz and Princess Grace when you visit Sketch, the classy new Wine and Dine venue at the Imperial Hotel. Sketches by Ethan Desmond (From the Sketch Up) evoke the good times when Princess Grace stayed here some sixty years ago and also the hotel’s enduring links with the annual Jazz festival in this comfortable corner with its overall Rus en Urbe vibe created, with a light touch, by Sandra Looney of To Have and To Hold.
|Les bon temps rouler
Let the good times roll! Grab a buddy and dust off those glad rags and head for the Sketch entrance on Pembroke Street (though you can of course access it also through the South Mall entrance). Here, relax and enjoy a cocktail or two and, of course, a Bird Cage full of top notch snacks, the produce sourced from the nearby English Market.
And fair play to Bastien and his team as they went on to illustrate exactly what he had in mind for the rest of very enjoyable evening with superb cocktails and those tasty Birdcages!
The mini cocktail on the way in, a welcoming shot of Glendalough Rose Gin and Taittinger, set the mood and, after that liquid amuse bouche, a good time ensued.
Appropriately, the first cocktail delivered to our table was Princess Grace, a delicious one of Ketel One Vodka, raspberries, Triple Sec, their own champagne syrup and Prosecco.
|The opening shot
They have a few smoked cocktails on the regular menu and we enjoyed the Spike Island (Oak Smoked Spike Island Rum Old Fashioned).
The most popular drink of the evening appeared to be the Eau De Champagne. The mix here is Taittinger Champagne, Glendalough Rosé Gin, Homemade Rosemary Syrup, Egg White.
There was a bit of theatrical fun to end with. The final cocktail, Lemon meringue (Ketel One Vodka, Lemon, Pineapple, Homemade Limoncello, Meringue) was served with the selection of petit fours. The ooh and aah bit came when the Meringue was blow torched at the table.
The regular menu has four Birdcages, each inspired by the English Market: Sushi, Charcuterie, Cheesy and Meaty.
|The Princess Grace
Our selection, an extensive sample of what is available on a regular Sketch night, came in two servings. First top was Charcuterie & Cheesy with Tom Durcan’s Spiced Beef, Gubbeen Salami, Iberia Chorizo, Gubbeen Smoked cheese, Cashel Blue, Ardsallagh Goats Cheese, and Carrigaline Garlic and Herb.
Quite a start to the evening and that was soon followed by Meaty, Seacurterie and Vegan and here we were tempted by Fribbins BBQ Glazed Ribs, Imperial Spiced Wings, Southern Fried Tenders, and Asian Duck Roll. The fishy bits were Peeky Toe Crab Roll, Sake Salmon, Torched Seabass and Ballycotton Smoked Salmon. And the third plate had Grilled Courgette, Ras El Hanout Spice, Avocado Mousse, Vine Tomato, Plum Tomato and Basil Bruschetta.
If you do call in, you don’t have to stick strictly with the cocktails and Birdcage. There are small plates of ribs, wings and Ham Hock Croquettes for instance. And, on the drinks side, there are many wines, also Prosecco and Champagne (including a flight for €20.00) listed. There’s a full bar at hand, so plenty of beers, gins and whiskeys to choose from.
Read all about Sketch, including full menus, here.