South Lake Union restaurant MistralKitchen has a new bar manager. According to the release sent out this morning, chef-owner William Belickis has hired Matt Bailey to carry on the thoughtful cocktail program begun by Andrew Bohrer when the restaurant opened in 2010 (and carried on by a few others).
Bailey, according to the restaurant, has worked previously at highly legit local cocktail destinations such as Liberty, Barrio and Needle and Thread. His most recent post was just a few blocks away at Venik, the bar known for both its cocktails and its handy adjacency to Russian bathhouse-spa Banya 5.
Mistral’s rep kept mum on the new bar manager’s identity for a few weeks, giving Bailey time to launch his own cocktail menu, which includes a few vodka-based nods to his previous gig. Any time I have talked to a new hire at MistralKitchen, he or she has expressed excitement about being let loose in a kitchen full of gadgets, ovens, and other culinary playthings. One new arrival on the drink list, a ginger caipirinha, includes fresh ginger cooked sous vide along with Brazilian sugarcane-based spirit cachaca.
Both Bailey and his 10 new drinks make their official debut today.