And the award for most overpriced Manhattan in Baltimore goes to…
The Chesapeake! Congratulations to the new kid on the block for charging 21 American dollars for a WhistlePig Manhattan, up. This struck me as a bit of a surprise, considering many of their in-house cocktails — i.e. the drinks unique to their establishment — were listed for $10, but sure enough, right there in black ink on cheap receipt paper, shown at left, is evidence of a drink price hike of epic proportions.
As for the verdict on the drink, it was a pretty well-balanced Manhattan. But I’ve had better — and cheaper – at Rye, W.C. Harlan, and Owl Bar. It certainly wasn’t $21-good. A $21-good Manhattan would probably have gold flakes or some rare cherry picked from a hard-to-get-to part of Japan in it or something. I don’t know, really. Because the idea of a $21 Manhattan was unfathomable until I set foot in The Chesapeake.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. Not long ago, my old pals at The Washington Post’s Going Out Guide, where I used to work, wrote up the most expensive Manhattan in the nation’s capital and it was $22. It is made with a small-batch rye I have never heard of and garnished with a bunch of things I can’t pronounce, but the bar where it is served ages the rye in an empty bourbon barrel for six weeks, making it oaky and smooth. At least that’s something I can appreciate (though I sure as shit wouldn’t pay $22 for it. I wouldn’t wittingly pay $22 for any drink). Related point: Washington Mother Fucking D.C. is a place where a $3 can of Boh is considered “a good deal.”
This is Baltimore — Station North, no less. As you may recall, a few weeks ago we looked at all of the money flowing into the Station North neighborhood and what that means for many of the artists who live there. Let me tell you: If a Manhattan is going for as much as a gram of weed, it’s time to get packing, artists.