Considering how it’s the latest venture from George Aboujaoude, owner of Bijou Nightclub and Cafeteria Boston, you’d naturally expect Committee to adhere to a certain level of, let’s say, Boston nightlife class. And the handsome, imposing room and Boston-stylish crowd certainly feels a piece of Newbury-Street-by-the-water that the thriving Seaport has become. What you might not expect is for the cocktails to be so well-designed and intricate. Typically, around here, you trade quality drinks for real estate atmosphere. Credit beverage director Peter Szigeti and general manager Demetri Tsolakis then for pulling off a rare combination of the two.
Szigeti, a native of Hungary, brings a distinctly European aesthetic to his creations, with a creative flair, decorative, but functional garnishes and glassware, and, most interesting, a variety of lesser-used spirits and modifiers that compliment them well.
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The Cuban Affair, for example, is made with Dos Mederas, a rum aged for five years in American oak in the Caribbean, before spending another five years in two different sherry casks in Spain. It’s mixed with lime, vanilla syrup, and balsamic vinegar, and the result is a sharp, dry sort of daiquiri with distinct vanilla notes. “I love to play with vinegar,” Szigeti says. “You talk about shrubs, you’re using apple cider vinegar, but why stop there?” The flavors here are meant to be reminiscent of a type of Hungarian cheesecake, he says, although one very much unlike what we think of here in the States.
For the Smoke Show, he uses a mezcal smoothed out with a strawberry infusion, Aperol, sweet vermouth, and Amaro #4. The latter is a unique series of amaro made by Brovo spirits, in which various notable bartenders worked with the distiller to design their own line of limited run bottles. Here the #4 brings in bright citrus, floral notes, and a lightly spiced finish. “It’s different than European Amaris which are very dark and herbal. This is a young amaro that works perfectly in drinks,” he says. The cocktail is then garnished with candied bacon.
“Mezcal is smoky, bacon is smoky, so when I was thinking about a cool garnish, the bacon come to me. This is a bittersweet drink so the candied bacon has the sweetness and ties into smoke,” he says. It’s a very approachable mezcal cocktail, with the strawberry decidedly rounding off its occasionally rough edges.
Elsewhere the Pins & Needles, made with cachaca, Lillet Rose, pineapple syrup, citrus and Angostura bitters, is a tall, refreshing blast with a light piney quality.
The cocktails on menu don’t necessarily always play well with the food — much of which is mezze style plates like Souvlaki, Greek-style meatballs, braised chickpea and eggplant, hummus, Tzatziki, and babba ganoush — but the rapid pace, and small size, (and high price ) of the dishes makes that an afterthought anyway.
If you go
50 Northern Ave., Boston