17 Dec Rebels On The Road
It’s been a busy year at Rebel and we’ve been fortunate to travel to some amazing destinations for both work and leisure. From sun drenched destinations in The Dominican Republic and Thailand to closer places such as Barcelona and Brussels. From familiar places like India to more remote and unknown places like Kazakhstan. It’s always lovely to go away as a team and therefore one of our favourite trips this year took us on an express trip to the USA to better understand the tier-two city market in the country and to seek some inspiration for a project we’re currently delivering for the Moxy hotel brand in Europe and the US.
We visited a slightly overwhelming thirty five restaurants and bars in six days, but there were some which really stood out. We’ve pulled together some of our favourites here.
We began our trip in New Orleans, the city of Voodoo, Mardi Gras and Beignets. We only spent two nights here but discovered some amazing bars and restaurants.
The first place we visited after a long trip, this industry bar served classic cocktails executed to perfection, as well as hand crafted cocktails in a very easy-going atmosphere. The place to be for all of us hospitality people to have some fun and meet some people.
What we took: An invitation to drinks from the food and beverage manager at the Catahoula hotel (below)
Located in The Old No. 77 Hotel in the heart of the Warehouse Arts district, Compere Lapin was not only a highlight in NOLA, but of the whole trip. Caribbean flavours combined with using French and Italian techniques. Sounds complex, but it was simply delicious. Plus, let’s not forget about that strawberry daiquiri and pina colada we had as dessert.
What we took: Inspiration from their signature slushies
This BBQ garden felt like the most authentic American experience. Walk in and go through the wine shop to buy your wine, grab a bucket with ice to make it cold, find a spot in the garden, order your BBQ and sit down to enjoy the food and the live Blues & Jazz music. A very cozy night!
What we took: A lovely team night
This lovely Indie, boutique hotel near the French Quarter was lovely to visit. Casual and cozy with quirky yet homey decor, and a great Pisco bar and rooftop. A must visit for a cocktail accompanied by live music.
What we took: Inspiration from the fun glassware and garnishes
Located in the Ramble Hotel in Downtown Denver, Death & Co have taken everything that they’ve become famous for in New York , and created a craft cocktail lobby bar with a wide selection of sipping spirits. Besides the creative and great tasting cocktails, the lounge itself has a speak easy vibe, with dark heavy curtains and exquisite glassware.
What we took: Inspiration from the cocktails (the liquid)
We are always up for a burger and could not leave the US without having had one. And so we did… but what was even more special at this burger bar were the fried pickles and the “Shaketinis” (milkshakes with booze of all sorts), we literally couldn’t have asked for a better American dinner.
What we took: Inspiration from the “shaketinis”
A restaurant and distillery that is outstanding at both things. Although not much food was ordered (due to the burgers before), everything we did have was sensational. We were impressed by their full lab in which they infuse all kinds of spirits and produce an extensive range of distillates.
What we took: Inspiration from the different flavoured distillates and infused spirits
A speakeasy tiki bar hidden in Chicago’s River North streets. Not only were the cocktails truly tiki, but the glassware and garnishes were outstanding. From mermaid tail stirrers and tropical flowers, to bespoke mugs we were truly impressed by how they managed to make each of their many drinks look and taste unique and different from one another. We must admit, we couldn’t help ourselves and stole one or two mermaid tails…
What we took: Glassware and garnishes inspiration for our tiki inspired drinks as part of the program we are creating
As the name implies, Bad Hunter is a veg-forward restaurant. In an area with many great and renowned restaurants such as Au Cheval and Girl & The Goat, this place still manages to stand out with in-season quality food and great cocktails. Besides the quality of the actual food and drinks, they deserve so much credit for their creativity in the menu design and excellent name (we should never underestimate the power of a good restaurants name).
What we took: Ideas for menu design and sharing cocktails
Known due to its heritage and excellent bars designed to provide and experience, the CAA is a must visit in Chicago. Not only is this a hotel in a beautiful building, it also has great entertainment and food and beverage areas such as the games room (fuelling our new-found shuffle-board addiction), rooftop, coffee shop and speakeasy amongst others.
What we took: Fun and playful inspiration for our current US hotel beverage project, and the aforementioned shuffleboard addiction.
We took many things, from inspiration and ideas, to network contacts and a GREAT time. What we are doing with it? That will be revealed soon! stay tuned to see the progress of our cocktail development work with Moxy.
Picture Credits: Caitlin Caprio