In addition to the original location in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood, The Barrel Room opened a Financial District spot in San Francisco in spring 2015. The new spot is both restaurant and wine shop, with a new, hidden bar downstairs from the wine store. The focus there is on whiskies and variations on the standard-bearer Old Fashioned cocktail. But upstairs in the restaurant, bar manager Nick Palm covers a range of spirits in his cocktails, including one vodka offering. Palm’s skills ensure the house vodka cocktail is a highlight.
THE DRINK TO DRINK Try the delicate Flor Vodka, bright with passion fruit and orange flower water. It tastes like vacation, vibrantly garnished with a tropical flower. KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Note rotating wine-and-spirits menus focused on various parts of the world, like Central and South America or a specific region of Italy.