A year-and-half in the works, Argosy in the heart of EAV is a hand-crafted and whimsical labor of love bar/restaurant from the partners behind the Bookhouse Pub — Ben Rhoades, Donald Durant, and Armando Celetano.
The look: Beyond the covered patio entrance, the wow-em build-out is basically one big room under a high barrel ceiling with exposed beams. Find seating on multiple levels, from a mezzanine with a birds-eye view, to cozy niches with couches, and a sprawling bar that meanders around several sections. The decor features reclaimed wood furnishings, artisan metal work, and avian murals and dioramas.
The scene: One recent Friday afternoon, convivial after-work snacking and sipping gatherings were scattered around the various spaces. But that was the calm before the storm, according to Celetano, who said large parties have been crowding the bar and dining room from dinner to the wee hours, most nights.
The menu: Drink-friendly food pairings from executive chef William Silbernagel (who also oversees the menu at Bookhouse) include mussels in miso broth ($10), crispy mustard glazed pork belly kabobs ($9), and sweet potato profiteroles with chorizo and goat cheese mousse ($6). Current seasonal mains include pan-roasted scallops with asparagus, carrots and hedgehog mushrooms ($17). A brick oven wood-fires specialty pizzas ($14-$15) and assorted late-night snacks.
The drinks: The bar features an extensive, mostly American craft beer list, with some 30 draft and 100 bottle selections. A recent draft list included Red Hare Bitter Hearts ($5.50), Terrapin Tree Hugger ($6), and New Holland Night Tripper ($6.50). On the the signature cocktails list, look for the Rye Buck with Riverboat Rye, yuzu, and ginger beer ($10), and a beer cocktail, called the Freckle, with Jameson Irish whiskey and Bell's Double Cream stout ($10).
The extras: On the sweet side, Silbernagel is making desserts ($6) like lemon goat cheese cake with streusel and poached rhubarb, and banana and dark chocolate bread pudding.