I am not going to lie, I hate openings. There is nothing I find more annoying than being the guinea pig for all the kinks an establishment has to find and sort out. The last time I went to an opening the bartender told me there were no spirits and only 4 beers on tap; one of which was Miller Lite. I stared at him so hard I could have burned a hole through his head. So my friends were a little nervous when we ventured out to the opening of Meta last night. As we approached the door at 8:55 I was disappointed to see their beautiful neon sign was not lit up (however their neighbors, The Body Shop, were in full swing…literally). A man at the door informed us that they were not ready, and to come back in 30 minutes. Once we did make it inside, Meta was buzzing with expectant customers. Everything was beautiful; from the gorgeous hand painted wall paper to the exquisite penny tiled floor; which we are told took four months to create.
The drink list was magnificently adventurous, but nothing that would overwhelm your average thirsty patron. I think my friends and I must have tried every $10 concoction they could serve us. Each one was unique and delicious in its own way. The libations blossomed on our tongues like a boozy bouquet. My favorites were The High Pant; made with Old Fitzgerald, fernet, ginger, orange, and aromatic bitters; and the Don and Ted; mixed with Jerez Brandy, rye whisky, palm sugar syrup, and creole shrubb.
Everything was so intriguing, I sat and stared at the menu listing its many unique ingredients. There was not a single redundant beverage. Their syrups are handmade with intriguing flavors such as umami, pie, and habanero. Meta intends to sell non-alcoholic sodas, presumably flavored with syrups like these, though none were offered on opening night.
Despite a few snafus, I have to say Meta’s opening was the best one I’ve ever attended. Their bartenders were shaking and pouring drinks like mixing mavericks. Their creativity, presentation (cocktails were served in a variety of beautiful old-fashioned glasses), one-of-a- kind mixers, and superb service really made Meta stand out. I had such a wonderful time sipping and chatting with my friends; it felt like my long wait for an upscale bar was finally over. I couldn’t be more excited to return to Meta and taste more of what they have in store for the future.
*no bartenders were harmed in the making of this review.
Photos Courtesy of Elizabeth Myers