Ingredients-n-Craft: An American Bar & Kitchen

A welcome replacement for Daryl’s Wine Bar, Ingredients-N-Craft, conveniently located beneath the Heldrich Hotel and just across the way from Rockoff Hall, is New Brunswick’s first dedicated whiskey bar and newest hotspot.  Operated by and so-far serving a beautifully bespectacled and brilliantly bearded demographic with suave and sophistication usually reserved for Williamsburg or the East Village, INC brings a level of style and class heretofore too rarely seen in Hub City.  This is present not only in their patrons but on their plates as well, and that not only in their presentation but through choice ingredients.  To whet your palate, start with their three cheese plate, which includes nuts, pepper jelly, truffle honey, fruit, and crostini.  The braised short rib panini (with brie, caramelized onions, and truffle mayonnaise on ciabatta) makes for excellent light fare, but the best choice on the menu is their signature Decadence Burger (foie gras, duck confit, muenster cheese, and truffle mayonnaise).  Either comes with a choice of salad (finely flavored by a honey balsamic vinaigrette) or fries; ask about upgrading the later to the INC Disco Fries (foie gras gravy, prosciutto, caramelized onions, cheddar) to perfectly complement the opulent-flavorings of the burger.  Despite whiskey being their specialty, with seventy whiskies, scotches, and bourbons available, the real stand out libations are their alternatives, including the Darkwing Duck, a variation on the Vesper that even Bond or Flemming would find preferable, or the Saint Snoop, the best thing to happen to gin since Prohibition ended and it was no longer distilled in dirty bathtubs.  Pair one with dinner and another with a dessert such as the delectable Coffee Pot De Creme (salted caramel, chocolate crumbs, with warm cinnamon and sugar donut holes), then stay long into the evening, drinking up both the cocktails and the atmosphere alike.

Go for: a wide selection of whiskeys, a chic yet casual atmosphere, finely crafted dishes and drinks, excellent service

9.5/10

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