A new bar coming to the Alphabet District will bring seasonal ingredients back from the dead. Revenant, a cocktail bar to open on NW 23rd and Thurman, will serve creative drinks incorporating peak-season ingredients and their preserved remains, from house bitters to marmalade.
The term revenant refers to a person who returns from the dead with a singular purpose, only to die again once that purpose is completed. Alejandro De La Parra, who is opening Revenant with fellow Teardrop Lounge alum Jed Klingensmith, sees that same potential in ingredients: He wants to emphasize them when they’re in peak season, and later when appropriate.
“It’s about using things when they’re at their best, and when they start to die off we want to preserve them, whether it be a bitter or shrub or preserves,” De La Parra says. “When that thing dies, we bring it back as a revenant.” For example, he plans on having a peach basil whiskey sour in summer time, when peaches are ripe. It may then appear again in fall or winter, this time using peach marmalade in a whiskey flip with a whole egg, cream, and cinnamon. “Citrus is winter fruit, but I want definitely to play with it in summer,” he says. “If I want to use it at its peak potential, it may not be fresh lemons; it may be preserved.”
Rather than using revived ingredients in the food, its purpose will be to revivify diners. “Think hangover cures and things that make you feel alive,” says De La Parra. “A fair amount will be fried, but deliciously so. The food doesn’t have to be too high-brow — we can leave that to the drinks.” He and Klingensmith, who will be handling most of the back-of-house work, are playing with the idea of grilled cheese sandwiches, fried tacos, and comfort foods.
High-end wines from the ‘70s and ‘80s also fit into the theme of bringing things back, though at a price. For more casual nights out, the bar will offer wines by the glass and various beers.
Guests will also find the place appropriately decorated, with life and death iconography like the ancient ouroboros, though nothing too cluttered or “gothy.” “I’m Mexican, and Mexican culture recognizes that death can be funny or sweet sometimes,” De La Parra says. “You’re going to live and you’re going to die, those are the only two guarantees in life, and we want to capture that.”
Revenant’s space currently being constructed, but the pair are hoping for a late summer, early fall opening — maybe just in time to have peach preserves in drinks on the menu.