cocktail recipes, drink experiments, good cocktails

Get Thee to the Naga!

I had the best bar experience EVER the other night. I mentioned in a recent post how I was impressed by the Naga Bar at the Chantanee Thai Restaurant in Bellevue, so I was quick to suggest it for another night out this week.  Food & Wine Magazine named the Naga Bar one of the Top 100 cocktail bars in the world, but I think it is our opinion that really counts: Verdict? The Naga rocks.

My Scandalous Dutchman at the Naga Bar. Made with Genever gin and much more.

The cocktail menu is extensive, so we eventually went off the grid and just asked our server for recommendations. Our praise for our drinks – which included mocktails since two were sans-alcohol for the evening – and probably our enthusiasm (and, OK, it looked like a slow night), brought bartender Chris Faber to our booth. With just a little steering toward our preferences – gin or tequila, spicy or not? – and our encouragement to “surprise us,” he brought some truly fantastic cocktails to our table. Even the mocktails were crafted, made of layers of so many fresh juices and herbs that I lost track of the ingredients.  My favorite cocktail was his “Scandalous Dutchman,” both for the name and the taste.

Faber is obviously enthusiastic and knowledgeable about mixology, but not condescending. He gave me good information about some gins to explore (I did not identify myself as a cocktail blogger, lest it seem like I was trying to make myself look “important”), I think because he is just passionate about the subject. But my favorite is when he described the Corpse Reviver – a classic stiff cocktail that varies with gin, Lillet Blanc, vermouth and more – as a “bad-ass lemon drop.”  Chris, please have that bad-ass lemon drop waiting for me because I will be back soon!

Cheers, ICE



5 Responses to “Get Thee to the Naga!”

  1. Ginger Says:

    NAGA! Faber spoiled me — Now that I know that a mocktail doesn’t have to be just sparkling water with a splash of juice there’s no turning back!

  2. cara Says:

    Great bar!! And I’m ashamed to say it but the mocktails were as good if not better, than some cocktails I’ve had!

  3. Tweets that mention Fabulous Cocktails Waiting at the Naga Bar in Bellevue. | Ice + Clink + Drink -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Kostin, Chantanee Restaurant. Chantanee Restaurant said: Local Bellevue cocktail blog we just found. Nice post on @chantanee / naga. […]

  4. Mark Says:

    Nice that Chantanee got the benefit of this good press at the expense of Chris Faber, the bartender. I think they let him go the day after they posted it. He will take a lot of customers with him to Lot 3 in Bellevue. Visit him there!

  5. Ginger Says:

    What?! No more Faber? How can that be?!