Instead of cranking out a predictable menu of cheap domestic beer + tried and true gin & tonics (although we love those too), Brentwood is serving up an incredible array of seasonal and signature cocktails, like Smart N Fancy, with gin, pistachio, lime, cream and club soda. And did we mention the oil paintings, marble bar and array of artisanal spirits?
The Brentwood is open year-round, with a well-stocked, elegant bar, thoughtful and knowledgeable staff, and is warm, luxe, original and adorably wee (when it gets packed, visitors can spill outside).
The bar anchors the entire 12-room hotel, both of which were created by Studio Tack. The team of luxury-and-fun-loving design gurus is also behind an array of international projects, from Tahoe to Barcelona, and several in Upstate New York, including Gaskins and Scribner’s Catskill Lodge.
Picture a latter-day Dorothy Parker, fresh from hot yoga, wearing MiH and Chloe, thoughtfully sipping artisanal whiskey while listening to Billie Holiday. Her girlfriend is doing the same, and they’re debating the merits of Rachel Cusk’s latest effort. Next to them is a slide guitar maestro who is set to play Caffe Lena later that week, drinking Pet Nat and and going over his planned setlist. After a few drinks, they’re planning the show’s after party.
How thirsty are you? The Brentwood features a three-pronged cocktail list—seasonal, house specialities and classics, with an emphasis on innovative, sustainable and cutting-edge producers and techniques. Definitely try the Prioress, made with vodka, clementine, elderflower, lemon bitters.
They also have one of the more thoughtful wine lists in town; the house wine is Radley & Finch’s Pinotage and they serve a fantastic Pinot Noir Rosé from Una Lou from Scribe Winery in a can.
Aside from the house nuts and occasional pop-up, Brentwood doesn’t serve food, but you are welcome to order-in (or bring) whatever you’d like. If you order from local favorite delivery from 9 Miles East Pizza you’ll get 15% off. We’ve also seen people with full-on artisanal cheese baskets march in and make a night of it at one of the tables.
Everything. In addition to the super-casual yet (ironic) pinky-in-the-air vibe, there are activities and amenities that will nourish your inner child and entertain your outer hipster. That’s right kids: classic board games, games of cornhole, and horseshoes await, as does a fire pit with prongs, graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate at the ready for S’mores-making.
Also … Vinyl Nights. Every Thursday, from 6 pm to close, the bartenders put on records and listen to them in their entirety. Guests can make requests from their lengthy list of classics—spanning jazz, rock, punk, pop—or bring in their own.
Kathleen Willcox lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband and twins. She writes about the culture and politics of food and wine as well as travel and lifestyle; her work regularly appears in Wine Enthusiast, SevenFifty Daily and Edible Capital District.