It seems like every day now, there's a new cocktail hot spot opening its doors in lower Manhattan. The latest being The Mulberry Project, a new "concept" featuring drinks from GoldBar and Milk & Honey alums and EEEEEATS by a dude who once ran kitchen at Boqueria. The whole "concept" here is mixology not confined by a menu. Pick your liquor of choice and an accompaniment or two and minutes later a custom cocktail arrives just the way you like it. In my case, I had their play on an Old Fashioned and some kind of spicy tequila surprise. Both were excellent. A menu does exist, but early in the night they like to play the bespoke drinks game, before things get crazy. Speaking of early, that's really the only time to come. This isn't a civilized environment like Little Branch or PDT where people are only allowed to enter if there is a seat for them. Mulberry Project is more of a lounge, and they aren't shy about packing people in. We came directly after work on a Friday Night around 8:30pm and were lucky to snag one of the few tables. An hour later, Pauly D and Vinny were hovering around our table, waiting for us to get up. And as soon we did..."dude, you guys done? Yeah? Hot. Howie! Jonnie! We got that prime real estate yo! Big booth right next to where the DJ is going to set up later!" Hopefully the DJ decided to switch up the tune situation, because these guys certainly weren't going to be feeling the pre-game set list of John Mayer and Dave Matthews Band.
In regards to the food, we were actually quite impressed. Some of the dishes were a little bland, but the chef's imagination impressed us. Each small plate was well presented and meticulously plated. These dishes are exactly what you'd expect to eat with a cocktail of this caliber and at $8-$13 a pop, the price is right.
Although we definitely approve of Mulberry in moderation, we can't throw a high score at an establishment that has the potential to be an absolute disaster if you go at the wrong time. Therefore, the score has been adjusted accordingly. Extra points for high quality drinks and better food than we expected, points off for a suspect playlist, too many bros, and not enough tables.
Small chunks of pork belly served on top of an apple chip, with caramel fig compote and cider reduction. Very tasty and an excellent dish to share while you sip.
The dish we were most impressed with. Two sliders with watercress and sheep's milk cheese (which you couldn't really taste), on a nice, soft potato bun and a side of sweet potato fries and chipotle mayo. The sweet potato fries made up for the lack of flavor in the short rib, but regardless, this made us very happy. One person could eat this and be very full.
Three shot glasses of bloody mary shooters for $9. Not a bad deal.
Standard. Not great, but not bad. The sweet chili mayo was good.
An impressive looking spoonful of Spanish mackerel, cucumber gelee, and caramelized walnut. Maybe my mouth was numb from the whisky, but it was hard to actually taste any of the flavors. Either way, it's worth an order.