31 May £10 Cocktail Bar
Above Scarpetta at the Montage Beverly Hills sits an intimate, private, reservation-only bar called £10 (Ten Pound). Inspired by General Manager Hermann Elger, £10, which opened in June 2011, is a luxury artisan bar specializing in the Scotches of Macallan, as well as a full cocktail bar with handcrafted cocktails done table-side.
Why is the bar called £10? Did you know that the Scottish £10 note has a rendering of the Macallan distillery on it? As this bar features Macallan Scotch, it was a natural fit.
With a reservation made, you are escorted upstairs where your host will pull out a magic key card. As you pull open the thick Lalique door handle on the frosted glass door, you enter the warm low-lit club style £10 bar, illuminated by Lalique light fixtures, votive candles and vases. £10 represents sophistication and quality and no detail was spared in the creation of this lounge. Considered some of the purest crystal in the world, the bar displays Lalique bottles of Vintage Macallan and Lalique decanters and barware with the Owl motif. The indoor portion of the bar consists of four small round tables and opens out to a private balcony that will make you feel transported to another place and time.
The £10 spirit list offers one spirit per category, representing what the Montage team considers the “best in class”:
- Krug Champagne
- Nolet Gin
- Hardy Cognac
- Jewel of Russian Vodka
- Macallan Scotch (and Highland Park)
- Deleon Tequila
- Zacaoa XO Rum
- American Bourgon and Rye Whiskey
When the menu is presented, you will notice that they are different than most menus. These menus are printed on wood from the American oak barrels that the Scotch was aged in.
Once seated, you are given an ice presentation where different types of ice cubes are brought out with recommendations based on the drink you order.
Ice selections include:
- Kold Draft Cubes – These freeze from the inside out, resulting in no trapped air. They are colder, denser and don’t melt a lot when shaken.
- Whiskey Stones – These black cubes are 100% soapstone and are not porous. They manipulate the fatty acids in spirits and take off the liquor burn by decreasing the temperature without diluting the spirit.
- Ice balls – These are made from water imported from the Scottish Highlands, where the whiskey comes from. They fit perfectly in the Lalique tumbler.
Nick Daniels, who recently took over as Bar Manager, took our orders and then returned with a cart, where he makes the cocktails table-side. The menu offers five cocktails but Nick is happy to create any cocktail with your base spirit of choice.
With your first drink, an appetizer dish comes with two pieces of perfectly cooked applewood smoked bacon sticking straight up in glass, along with beemster cheese and carmelized pecans.
The bacon was quickly devoured before the cocktails arrived.
Filigree (Krug, sugar cube, lavender bitters, vanilla bean) – a subtle lavender nose, the vanilla bean adds a warm richness to the palate.
Bremmer’s Cup (Nolet gin, cucumber, lime, dandelion and celery bitters) – the celery bitters were dominant at first, making the drink salty, but as the cocktail settled the flavors became more balanced.
Rum Old-Fashioned (Pampero Anniversario, orange tincture, falernum bitters) – a classic cocktail with a sweet finish
Scotch Manhattan and Derby on the Rocks (the tall glass caught my eye so I took a photo of the drinks at the table next to us)
Nick’s Creation (Gin, freshly juiced ginger root, lemon juice, wildflower honey) – the fresh ginger was spicy and the flavor lingered, while the honey smoothed out the finish.
While sipping cocktails, you can also enjoy refined bar food, like caviar, artisan cheeses, seafood and meat appetizers, and sweets like chocolate bonbons, all prepared by Scarpetta’s Chef Scott Conant and Chef Gabriel Ask. We enjoyed the rich Lobster Rolls, flavorful Bison Tartare, and fluffy (and addictive) Bacon Dumplings.