Early in the evening as employees being to arrive.
Early in the evening as employees being to arrive.

One of the most irritating things I have to do is to write a review about a place that I recently excoriated. Whether it was due to a less-than-stellar hotel experience or because of a creeping parking fee cancer, I prefer to sit on my self-righteous throne, smug in my correctness.

There’s a reason why crow isn’t on a usual dinner plate. It’s rank. As you can imagine, I don’t like eating it now.

A couple of evenings ago I was privileged to attend a special private event at the Mirage. The Still is the newest restaurant/bar/craft beer and drinks venue to open there, and it replaces The Revolution, which was a strange nightclubesque venue patterned ostensibly after the Beatles’ song, Revolution. While I peeked into it a time or two, I never entered. Frankly, it just didn’t seem welcoming. I didn’t know that it had closed, and I’m happy to report that The Still looks like a much more inviting, welcoming venue.

The Mermaid at the Mirage
The Mermaid at the Mirage

As you may know, there is no love lost between the Mirage and me. That said, I grit my teeth every time I go into the place because it really is quite lovely.

Dammit.

Bartender pulling a beer from one of the "stills."
Bartender pulling a beer from one of the “stills.”

I was very excited to attend this event because I am a big supporter and believer in craft beers. Once I entered, I realized that my initial perception was absolutely right on. It looks like a grown-up place because there are grownups behind the bar, and there are grownups who are interested in coming in. The Revolution, not so much.

The big draw in this place – at least for me – is the full-size Airstream trailer slash food truck in the back. I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderfully darling/cute/adorable it is! But make no mistake – it is a serious, fully-staffed and stocked kitchen, and the food is no joke. While you will be paying Mirage prices, you can also expect Mirage quality. Excellent. This ain’t bar food.

Dammit again.

Now back to the bar. They have over 50 beers on tap here (one manager guy said at least 51). All of the beers are pulled from a facsimile still. Obviously, that is where the name of the place comes from. Understand that this is not a brewery – all the beers are brewed elsewhere, as the number of different brewers demonstrates. As an aside, the bar itself is made of solid concrete and as one who’s an HGTV junkie, I’m jonesin’ to have one in my own home.

The backbar is interesting with the two stills, lots of beer bottles and growlers (although they don’t sell growlers to go there), spirits, wines, and nonalcoholic beverages as well. They have a lot of dark spirits. I see rye, bourbon, Wild Turkey, Canadian whiskey, Irish whisky, and more.

Um. What?
Um. What?

Naturally, there are the usual favorites of vodka, gin, tequila, and a few other spirits. Including The Macallan 18 year. Yup.

My two waitpersons, Rachel and Sabra, were the best ever. Rachel was cute as a button and Sabra was ready to throw herself off the ledge after she accidentally spilled beer on me. I think I talked her off the precipice okay. I chuckled even though she was mortified.

I had a Mule – not necessarily of the Moscow variety – which was quite refreshing and quenched my thirst. Although I have a feeling that if I’d had more than two of them, the only thing I would have been feeling was no pain.

I didn’t expect any wines there, much less wines of quality. The two glasses of Chalk Hill Chardonnay that I enjoyed certainly put the kabash on that assumption. I saw a few Central Coast labels on the back bar as well, but I wasn’t really looking for wines. That said, it was a very nice treat to be able to sip on a good one.

In a nutshell, it was fun, I saw some familiar faces, and I had a great time!

I hated that.

StillsignThe most important thing is that it appears no matter what the age or sex, anyone can have a good time here, despite it calling itself a “man cave.” There are TV screens playing sports, so that’s probably why the moniker. If you come earlier in the evening, you’ll get to enjoy old-school music playing in the background and more suited to those of us *of a certain age* who appreciate talented musicians and their music liberally sprinkled with rhythm and harmony. If you come later in the evening, there will be harder stuff playing, that may or may not hurt your ears. But you know, even for someone at my advanced age, I still had a great time. I hate to say it but this place is probably going to be a hit.

Dammit again.

Reluctantly yet oddly enthusiastically recommended, and I’ll probably be back for more. That Airstream – and its food – is calling my name!

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