From left to right: salmon and cabbage wontons, stuffed mushrooms, and focaccia and fromage at 503 Cocktail Lab + Tasting Room.
Writer: Karla Walsh
Two of the most common questions I receive at community events:
Since we broke the news about the plans for Table 128 to move from 128th Street and University Avenue in Clive to downtown, a few unpredictable factors arose, chef-owner Lynn Pritchard admits. (This seems to be more the rule than the exception since the pandemic began, right?) But watch for more details coming soon; Pritchard promises it is still coming.
In the meantime, head to 503. 503 Cocktail Lab + Tasting Room (503 E. Locust St.), that is—Pritchard’s other project that’s definitely worthy of a spot on your “best of the East Village” list. Although the kitchen is small, chef Jarred Clark is turning out exceptionally thoughtful small plates to pair with mixologist Jake Humburg’s classic and modern cocktails (or wine, beer, or a spirit-free sip if you prefer).
From the late-summer menu, I fell in love with the “Focaccia and Gruyere,” a small loaf of bread stuffed with gruyere and manchego cheeses, garlic and tomatoes, all showered with balsamic, olive oil and fresh herbs. While I was sad to see it go from the frequently updated seasonal menu, it’s certainly not a bad “consolation prize” to have savory mushroom bread pudding and cashew chimichurri-topped roasted sweet potatoes awaiting me on my next visit. If you’ve ever dined with me at a Pritchard establishment, you know that those will (read: must) be followed by at least one of his signature mini chocolate chip cookies.
If you, too, want to sample the latest from the 503 “lab,” you can now do so with some bonus entertainment. From 8 to 10 pm. this evening, Oct. 26, 503 will host its first singer-songwriter night with Andrew Hoyt. Then on Friday, Nov. 4, from 6 to 10 p.m., 503 and photographer Tatiana Giacinti are teaming up to host a First Friday art exhibition.
Cocktail classes also are on tap, starting with “Intro to Cocktail Making” Nov. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $40 per person; get tickets and find out more here. “From that point,” Pritchard says, “we’re planning to branch out with a modern twist on the classics, then themes like ‘what can you do with bitters?’ ”
For the holiday season, expect gift kits featuring 503’s signature cocktail ingredients, desserts and more. So much to patch us through until 128 opens.
503 Cocktail Lab + Tasting Room is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m. Visit 503dsm.com for more details and to see the current menu, and follow @503_dsm on Instagram for new menu drops, event announcements and more.