There’s a new place to drink gin in the Pearl District. Botanist, the bar from Urban Farmer alum Robbie Wilson, is a contemporary take on a martini bar in a cozy cavern of a space, serving creative, polished cocktails alongside seafood and drink-friendly bar bites.
While Wilson’s cocktails lean heavily on gin, don’t expect traditional g&ts. The bartender is giving gin an olive-oil wash for super-smooth martinis and pairing genever — the barley wine predecessor to gin — with Crux pilsner, grapefruit, and aperol. Down the line, Botanist will keep his classic negroni on tap, and the bartender plans to make his own gin with local botanicals for his “terroir-aged martini.”
Chef Taylor Figueroa, formerly of flashy cocktail bar Xport, specifically designed dishes to pair with Wilson’s cocktails. His dark rum jerk chicken, for instance, uses a banana ketchup that goes into a rum-and-gin cocktail called the Bananarama; a brandy-glazed eel with smoked shoyu is meant to work with the bar’s Sazerac, a cognac cocktail that will eventually hit the bar’s selection of $7 happy hour drinks.
The bar itself, in the former Pink Rose, is all bright greens and pseudo-’20s vibes, with jazz on the playlist and a old-school backlit bar. A large vintage cocktail poster dominates the main bar space, next to a tiny, 25-ish seat dining room lined with vintage liquor bottles and posters of botanicals. The bar will transition through the night, playing more hip-hop as it approaches its 2 a.m. closing time. Stay tuned for a peek at the restaurant’s menus.