The spacious bar and lounge at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, part of the restaurant’s major renovation, is almost ready to open. A dinner paired with Elk Cove wines Monday will include a vertical tasting of the vineyard’s Roosevelt Pinot Noir.
Normally I am never at a loss for words, but a simple interjection was all I could muster when I pushed open the glass doors into the new cocktail lounge at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, part of a major renovation to the restaurant’s bar, dining rooms, and kitchen.
With its leather sofas, cathedral ceiling, custom woodwork, and warm vanilla-colored walls, the lounge feels more like a spacious great room with an exceptionally well-stocked bar for your closest friends. (And oh happy day, there are purse hooks.)
“We’ve only had four seats at our bar since we opened,” said Chef Andrew Ticer, who helms the restaurant with co-Chef Michael Hudman. “It was time to give Andrew Michael the facelift it deserves.”
Additionally, the new bar and lounge will recognize the work of Nick Talarico, the restaurant’s beverage director. “Nick approaches our cocktails with the same passion as we approach the menu,” Ticer said. “We didn’t feel like it was fair to the front of the house program for them not to enjoy the end product.”
Directed by Memphis-based Fleming Architects and designer Sarah Spinosa, the transformation continues outside, where the restaurant’s former back yard is now a courtyard patio made with reclaimed bricks from Hog & Hominy, Ticer and Hudman’s second restaurant located across the street. Commanding center stage is the courtyard’s gorgeous show-stopper: a 22-foot fireplace constructed of weathered fieldstone.
The renovation will be completed within the next few weeks, but people attending Monday’s Elk Cove wine dinner can get a sneak peak. Named Winery of the Year in 2013 by Wine & Spirits magazine, Oregon’s Elk Cove Vineyards is an exceptionally good match for the food Ticer and Hudman like to cook. Monday’s five-course meal will include, among other things, crudo, pasta, lamb, and duck dishes.
From Elk Cove, look for a Pinot Blanc, a rosé, a Mt. Richmond Pinot Noir and a vertical tasting of the winery’s 2009, 2010, and 2011 Roosevelt Pinot Noir.
For reservations to the Elk Cove wine dinner, call the restaurant or click here to purchase tickets.
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, 712 W. Brookhaven Circle (901-347-3569)