New York City chef and restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian sure knows a thing or two about making a statement. The quick-talking television personality landed his expansive new Georgie restaurant inside the former Scarpetta only yesterday, and now offers a first full look at The Garden Bar, a luxurious new destination for drinkers of all stripes.
It’s easy to make comparisons between Georgie, Geoffrey Zakarian’s upscale new dinner option inside the Montage Beverly Hills, and new sister drink spot The Garden Bar. The two are only feet from each other of course, and both come draped in luxe details and lots of finished wood. But ultimately these are two wholly separate experiences, punctuated by Garden Bar’s strong cocktail sensibilities and sophisticated atmosphere — they just happen to exist under the same roof.
The soaring Garden Bar space was designed by Gachot Studios as a comfortable nod to European sensibilities around the early 1900’s, when cool breezes were the only necessary form of air conditioning and true comfort meant sinking into a plush lounge chair surrounded by leafy house palms. The resulting focus of the bar is on a series of small spaces — a midcentury modern couch set across a marble coffee table from a colorful loveseat, or a wicker four-top meant for playing backgammon — rather than a cohesive room where focus pulls only towards the bottle shelf.
There is an expansive wood bar of course, plus the usual brass touches that bring a room like The Garden Bar to life, but ultimately Zakarian and his Montage Beverly Hills team have been focused on more intimate interactions. This is a place for pre-dinner drinks as a couple, or small but vibrant gatherings of friends and professionals.
The menu is similarly meant for elegant sharing, with options like a mixed dozen oysters or a plate of goat cheese-stuffed squash blossoms. There will also be a $25 burger on offer, and a market price Ossetra caviar service should things take a turn. The full bill of fare is below.
Ultimately the primary thrust of The Garden Bar will be on drinks, from a $22 ginger sidecar made with Hennessey Cognac to a $16 Bacardi-backed take on a mojito. These aren’t the sky-high prices of the upstairs Ten Pound bar, but with glasses of wine running $14 - $35 and Coravin pours of more eclectic bottles hitting $70, expect to spend.
The Garden Bar officially opened on Sunday inside the Montage Beverly Hills, with lunch through dinner hours daily from noon to 1 a.m.