I don’t always drink cocktails, but when I do, I like them to be unique, flavorful and refreshing. What a treat to happen upon the Bordley House Grille at Broad Run Golfer’s Club in West Chester and its new Food and Beverage Director Katrina Schmidt.
I sipped two of Katrina’s newly concocted creations: Cucumber-Melon Martini and Strawberry-Basil Martini. My first impression was both libations had big, bold flavors. According to Katrina, who earned a restaurant management degree from Penn State University and then attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California (smack-dab in the Napa Valley), all it takes is real food to get genuine flavors.
Thanks to Bordley House’s herb and veggie garden, real food it is. No flavored vodkas here: the mixologists infuse in-house with whatever is fresh. The Cucumber-Melon Martini is basic—and by that I mean basically delicious—house-infused watermelon vodka with cucumber, mint and a hint of simple syrup. Full disclosure: I love cucumber martinis. This girl has had her share at some of the finest establishments from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. What made this one outstanding was the very light melon that let the authentic cucumber taste shine through. Not too sweet, with a nip of mint, this martini is perfect on a HHH (hazy, hot and humid) summer day.
You’ve had balsamic on salads and veggies, right? How about drizzling the bottom of a martini glass with balsamic? Genius. It was the secret sauce of the Strawberry-Basil Martini, the star of every sip and fireworks at the end. This cool cocktail is made with house-infused strawberry vodka, lemon, basil and a tad of simple syrup over that balsamic drizz. I’m drooling just thinking about the sweet smell of berries that hit the nose before the first taste, and then the slightly tart note of lemon near the end of each blissful sip. Hubs and I have been to the CIA at Greystone many times: these cocktails pass with shining colors.
Joining these seasonal treats are new twists on old standbys, like the (ri)1 Rye Whiskey Old-Fashioned and the Sweet Basil Gimlet, along with some innocent-sounding but not-so-innocent drinks including Summertime Strawberry Lemonade and Front Porch Peach Iced Tea. I saved those for another day, but I know they won’t disappoint.
What else is new at Bordley House Grille? How about Executive Chef Jamie Nafe, a popular local favorite most recently at Firecreek Restaurant in Downingtown.
And, a local and seasonal new menu to go with that new chef. And, all locally brewed craft beers on tap, plus a great bottle list. And, a few surprises on the wine list. I’m pretty sure you should head right over and start trying all this goodness. Both the restaurant and the golfer’s club are open to the public.
Then, mark your calendar for Saturday, Sept. 15th, for the Grand Re-Opening of this everything’s new gem in the quaint, historic old Bordley House. Plans are in the works for a celebration on this bucolic property, so watch West Chester Dish for updates.
Photographs credited to Nina Lea Photography.