[Dec 23, 2019]
After leaving The Eddy , Lorri and I were eager to check out The Avery, rumored to be THE speakeasy in Providence. Let us run through the Speakeasy Checklist!
- Non Obvious Building? Yep, the Avery was in a deceptively residential looking area and was in a building that looked more like a house
- Vampire-Friendly Darkness? Absolutely. There could have been blood drained corpses stuffed in the corners without us realizing it. How did Prohibition era drinkers read the menu without a cell phone to illuminate the offerings?
- Small Clusters of Hipsters? Yup, clad in flannel & facial hair
- Sleazy-Classy Decor? …
5. Eclectic Menu? You betcha, ideal balance of classics, spins on classics, and drinks with wise-ass names
We ordered the classic Greenpoint (a classic) and the Aper-ition (a spin on the Aviation AND a drink with a wise-ass name) .
The Greenpoint is one of the better “Manhattan variation named after a New York neighborhood” cocktails. When done properly, the rye and yellow chartreuse combination can be a soft and lovely drink. but unfortunately in this case it came across as yet another sickly sweet Manhattan variation.
Aviations are notoriously easy to get wrong – the Creme de Violette and the Luxardo Maraschino both tend to be strong ingredients that are elegant in the right proportions but kinda bitchy and nasty if you’re off by a hair. The idea of subbing Aperol for the Violette sounded inspired … but the Maraschino just ransacked the drink and we were back in syrupy territory again.
Lorri backtracked into a Mezcal Old-Fashioned, requesting the excellent Mezcal Vago and I (with some trepidation) braved the Ginger Sidecar. The Mezcal Old fashioned was passable but the inclusion of soda put it out of Lorri’s lane (yes, we know soda in an Old Fashioned is a THING in some areas of the country but it still tastes like “Old Fashioneds for people who don’t really like Old Fashioneds). And the Ginger Sidecar continues the theme of unbalanced sugar.
It was at this point that I noticed that the bar top felt a little tacky, the menu seemed a little sticky … it seemed like the entire joint felt covered in a light donut glaze but not in a perfectly-executed-warm-Krispy-Kreme way, more like a 3-day-old-and-sweaty-Dunkin-Donuts way
I do need to mention that our experience seems to be in the solid minority when it comes to the Avery. Every joint can have an off night and we wouldn’t be against giving this place another try in the future as it’s got the right goals in mind.