Food for Thought :: Tempting Tapas, Cocktails and More
I’ve been meaning to stop by The Drive for a few weeks now. This fun new addition to "The Drive" has been open for a few months now and I was ready to check it out. I met my friend Tonio for an evening of drinks, tapas and gossip this past Tuesday evening.
Owner Hal Feldberg, who owned a gay bar in Boston for over 20 years, has a vision for this upscale, attractive establishment. It has a large area inside with a smattering of tables, a large bar and a piano taking the stage in this main room and a patio on the other side of the bar with more tables. Last time I was in this building, it was to get a trim at the hair salon that used to be there. Needless to say, it looks completely different and even better than I could’ve imagined.
Feldberg is excited to offer great local entertainment, creative cocktails and gourmet-quality tapas. Chef Earl Deveaux, who recently joined the staff, worked at the popular Houston’s for many years and also had a stint at YOLO on Las Olas. These are impressive credentials indeed, but all you need to do is try his tapas to know that this man has major talent.
The evening Tonio and I were there, Kris Nickolson (aka Teddy Bear Chris) was the entertainment. The pianist played fun songs for the appreciative audience.
Our server Derek was friendly and offered wonderful dining and drink suggestions. The cocktails were really nice and Tonio and I enjoyed a Raspberry Cosmo, an chilled Apple Cider drink, a Lemondrop martini made with blueberry vodka (my new favorite drink) and shots of Baby Guinness (which is made with Bailey’s Irish Cream and Kahlua) throughout the evening.
Chef Deveaux makes his guacamole ($8) fresh twice daily and Tonio and I fell in love with this fresh dip of avocados, onion, tomato, lime, jalapeno served with tri-color tortilla chips. The bruschetta ($8) was not only tasty with vibrant flavors, but the presentation was equally impressive. Topped with tomatoes and basil, the garlic crostini was served over a balsamic glaze. I really liked this bruschetta because the bread wasn’t overly crunchy and crouton-like, it had a great fresh, but still crunchy, texture.
The Taco Flatbread ($11) had seasoned ground beef, salsa, onions, cilantro, tomato, cumin, cheese and a drizzle of sour cream on top. As a major Taco Pizza aficionado, this was one of my favorites of the evening and I will be back for more.
We then split a trio of sliders - the Kobe Beef Slider had caramelized food_kobeonion, shitake mushroom and mustard sauce on a bun; the Meatball slider was topped with marinara and ricotta cheese and the Chicken Slider had cheddar cheese, Applewood smoked bacon and apple butter on a sweet bun.
All of these sliders were fantastic but the standout was the Meatball slider. This slider had the most delicious tender, homemade meatball ever and Tonio and I couldn’t stop raving about it.
We also tried their Panini ($11) which had roasted turkey, granny smith apples, and brie cheese on soft scrumptious bread. The flavors melded perfectly.
Another favorite of the evening was their BLT, which, like the other items on the menu, offered a surprising twist on a classic-the bacon was cooked with brown sugar. Tonio and I were fighting for pieces of this amazing sandwich.
Our dessert was a real showstopper - a big fudgey brownie topped with dulce de leche, sea salt and a scoop of ice cream. Since we were pretty full at this time, we started off taking delicate bites, but soon lost control and tore it up, scraping every last bite of this off the plate. I still dream of this brownie and look forward to my next one.
The Drive serves food from 11:30 a.m., so stop by for some tapas and drinks and enjoy this great new addition to ’The Drive.’ Check out their ads for drink specials and entertainment info.