The obvious focus at Terrine, the new Beverly Grove restaurant from Kris Morningstar, is meat. If the giant red pig painted on the front of the building doesn't tip you off, the charcuterie board and multiple treatments of foie gras and steaks on the menu ought to do it.
Those meaty pleasures are all good and well, and I'll wait until for the formal review to get into that. But there are a few things about Terrine that beg to be discussed right this minute, as the weather turns suddenly summery and the urge to sit outdoors and drink refreshing drinks takes hold.
The bricked back patio is a lovely place to eat on these warm evenings, and a lounge area off to one side provides a spot where you might sit with friends and nibble on charcuterie and partake in the drinks of barman Ryan Wainwright. The whole list is compelling, and I loved the Prairie Fire Punch, a lightly fruity and refreshing blend of Buffalo Trace bourbon, lemon, pomegranate, Calisaya (a bittersweet herbal orange amaro) and soda water.
But the drink I was most taken with was the Beverly Fix, a drink that plays at the edges of tropical flavors without going overboard and leaves you with a smoky, lightly spiced finish. The drink combines El Silencio Mezcal with lime, pineapple, a house-made orgeat and a tincture made from serrano peppers. It was utterly refreshing, but the smoke of the mezcal and the sting of the pepper gave it great depth and savor. It's a very cool drink.
Wainwright comes to Terrine from the Tasting Kitchen in Venice, where he worked under Justin Pike, a well-known crafter of fantastic seasonal cocktails. Now at Terrine, Wainwright is one to watch in his own right.
Like much at Terrine, these drinks ain't cheap. I'd be amiss in my hearty recommendation if I didn't warn you: The Beverly Fix is a $15 cocktail. Ouch. A Gibson will cost you even more.
For me, on a balmy spring evening, on Terrine's patio, it was a worthy splurge.
Terrine, 8265 Beverly Blvd.; (323) 746-5130; terrinela.com