A couple days ago, Gabe and I, with a few friends, ventured out of the Richmond to Rye, the beacon of light in the gritty sea of the Tenderloin’s dive bars.
Located on Geary and Leavenworth, the whole ambiance of Rye is clean, rustic, dark and minimal. The sign outside is a clear reflection of this. It’s simple and dark, almost to the point where it looks like the bar is hiding in plain sight.
Walking inside the bar, the space just feels open. The tables are low along with the cushion seating accompanying them. The bar has a wood finish that strands out among the candle light and otherwise minimal lighting.
Then there’s the music…
The music was exceptional: Joy Division, Pavement, The Smiths, and The Cure were just a few played that night. You know those underground parties you went to with your friends when you were a kid? The ones where all you did was hang out in dark rooms listening to music and sweating? Then when you left, you felt all energized and ready to punch people in the face? Just kidding, I didn’t do any of that but if I did, this would have been the grown up equivalent.
Alright, lets get to the drinks. Being more of a Bourbon and Irish Whiskey girl, I’m not very experienced in the world of Rye so we asked the bartenders to make something up for us.
The Whisky Smash was very delicious. Its a sweet drink and reminded us a unsalted margarita with whiskey instead of tequila. But of the two, I would have to say that the English Garden was the clear winner. It was minty and fresh, a lot like a mojito but with Rye.
Very satisfied about that round of drinks, we got a Mint Julip, a Whiskey Punch, a traditional Sazerac along with a Whiskey Sour. They were all delicious but the Whiskey Sour has to be my favorite of the bunch. Whiskey Sours are usually my go-to drink at bars but Rye definitely stepped it up by adding egg whites to the mixture. It gives the drink a thick, frothy texture that sounds kind of disgusting but I dare you: try it. You’ll love it.
Rye is the not the bar to get rowdy drunk for several reasons. One being that the drinks are so carefully made and delicious that you want to savor the taste, not shove them down your throat. Secondly, you’re getting what you pay for and these drinks are not cheap. Three drinks will easily set you back about $30 buck but I’ll tell you right now; its far worth it.
688 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102