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An Evening at Library Bar

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It's been a while since we had a drink as delicious and inventive as The Last Tango in Modena (strawberries, 20-year aged Balsamic vinegar, Hendrick's gin, St. Germain foam) created by Matt Biancaniello at the Library Bar in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. So, when the publicist for the place invited us in for a 13 or so course cocktail tasting, we couldn't say no. To give you a little bit of history, Matt has been working at Library Bar since July 2008 (before that he worked in sales), and this is the first job behind a bar...ever. Out of personal interest he started playing with flavors and infusions, scooping most of his ingredients from the Santa Monica Wednesday farmers market and since then he has slowly attracted a following. Drinks run $15 a pop which may seem pricey, but if you consider the ingredients going into the cocktail, the cost makes more sense. Here is a typical bar set up which includes several varieties of heirloom tomatoes, frais des bois, watermelon, passion fruit, dragon fruit, all sorts of berries, star fruit, you get the idea.

Last week's favorites (pictured below) included the 16-ingredient heirloom tomato bloody mary, an heirloom tomato mojito called the Tomato Patch, an arugula gimlet, a saffron-infused Plymouth gin and tonic, a sage and raspberry concoction called Sage Heaven, shiso gimlet, pretty much everything we tried was great. Aside from the saffron-infused Plymouth gin Matt also infuses vodka with garlic, olives, red pepper flakes and oregano to make a drink he calls The Dirty Sicilian which is a take on the dirty martini but it tastes like drinking a slice of pizza. And Matt's newest infusion involves, brace, bourbon and shiitake mushrooms. Creative he is. Other fun libations involve a prosciutto-infused Bourbon with black walnut liqueur, and pomegranate, tequila and chile, but feel free to peruse Matt's menu
at your leisure. For more information on a particular cocktail pictured below, click the photo.

Library Bar

7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA