tenOak review

tenOAKIf sexy and man cave could be used in the same sentence, that sentence would have to include one other word: tenOak. Add “bourbon bar” and “fantastic food” and you’ve got a working definition of Austin’s latest bar/lounge.

The owner of Imperia, Speakeasy and Cuba Libre revamped the space formerly known as Cuba Libre and created tenOak, a dimly lit lounge with rustic, yet modern decor and amazing cocktails. But perhaps most impressive is the amount of thought and care put into the bar’s menu, which boasts local produce and free-range meats.

The food is simple – nachos, sliders, sandwiches, pizzas and salads – but the presence of fresh ingredients and quality meats makes all the difference. The flatbread-style pizzas are light and delicious, and the Braised Pulled Pork Sliders are sure to please even those who typically shy away from pork. Perhaps the best thing on the menu is the Fig in a Pig, delicious bacon-wrapped grilled figs stuffed with bleu cheese.

But you won’t be accompanying these fantastic eats with water or iced tea. A full bourbon bar serves to complement the food, with some matches seemingly made in heaven. For example, the Tempura Battered Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich is especially stellar when paired with Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey Whiskey.

If you want to skip the food and go straight for the drinks, the cocktails at tenOak are exceptional. The pop-rock-tini is the girliest drink in the house, complete with Bacardi razz rum, peach schnapps, cranberry, and best of all – pop rocks rimming the glass. For something a little harder, go for the Kentucky Woman – a delicious infusion of Woodford Reserve, maple syrup and apple juice on the rocks. I’m not much of a whiskey drinker myself, but this combination is nothing short of amazing, and needless to say, gets the job done.

The Honey Gimlet is also worth mentioning, with vodka, lime juice and honey, but my personal favorite was the tenOak Mule. This amazing concoction features Jamison Irish Whiskey, ginger beer and basil simple syrup. Both of these drinks were amazingly fresh and citrusy, but sweet and smooth. FULL REVIEW

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