One of Grub Street’s favorite Chinese restaurants is improbably situated in an ornate Woburn mansion. As the Globe notes, Sichuan Garden II is surrounded by a “rising tide of strip malls, highways, and shabby exurbs.” We’re pretty sure Woburnites would take issue with the “shabby exurb” categorization, but they can also take solace in the fact that they’re home to an amazingly authentic restaurant, as good as anything you’d find in the city. Which brings us to some of the best cocktail news we’ve heard since the Eastern Standard team announced Hawthorne. Ran Duan, whose parents own Sichuan Garden, has been quietly mixing lethal drinks in the suburbs for years. Now he plans to “mix cocktails that leave patrons awestruck … by, say, his finesse, innovation, or liberal use of chili pepper” in a more convenient location: the South End.
The twenty-something Sichuan province native plans to move to the 45-seat basement bar of oft-overlooked Jae’s restaurant in the South End. The bar will be called Hair of the Dog. Expect “inexplicable combinations with big, layered tastes, such as his apricot balsamic sour (preserves, Bulleit bourbon, bitters, a bit of balsamic vinegar) or the Nobody But You (blueberry gin, Thai chili, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, cranberry shrub).”
As longtime devotees of SG II (and its sister restaurant in Brookline, the original Sichuan Garden), we’re very psyched. Look for it to open in mid-December, just in time for you to make and then break your New Year’s resolutions.
Mix Mastery [Globe]