- by Macrae Schaffler
Walking into the Cove, one feels as though it is a bar that has always been there. In reality, the bar just opened a few months ago. The décor is super-retro dive bar, with a nautical motif that has been adopted from the old Anderton’s on Madison. Creator Jim Marshall, a local interior designer, bought out the whole of Anderton’s décor, from the murals that used to be on the walls at the beloved Midtown eatery all the way to the bar itself, which turned out to be a perfect fit for the space on Broad Street
The Cove occupies what used to be the Beer Joint, a seedy, dark, biker bar that seemed to squat in the now up and coming neighborhood near Broad and Hollywood. Although slow, the revitalization of this neighborhood is very apparent. Art galleries are popping up in the area, and buildings are undergoing renovation. The old Broadway pizza is still next door, but the rest of the neighborhood continues to change.
The Cove has already established itself a loyal crowd, as each time I have visited, the place has been quite busy. The menu, although incidental to the cocktails, is better than the pub grub you would expect from such a place. The oysters are big and plump and flavorful, and they are shucked by Chuck Wilson, formerly of Anderton’s! On my most recent visit, I enjoyed the Midtowner panini, a vegetarian sandwich on grilled bread with plenty of goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and sautéed eggplant. The panini also comes with a yummy little salad, an unexpected lemony, garlicky delight for a meal at a bar, and the Cove is first and foremost a bar, after all.
The Cove Special is also a good panini, loaded with Italian meats and chunky olive tapenade. The pizzas are good - Broadway Pizza style, with loads of toppings and a super-thin crust. My husband prefers the pepperoni, but I also like the Italian vegetable. Munchies on the menu include Syrian hummus, mixed olives, marcona almonds, and toasted pecans - much more pleasing than the usual breaded and fried options one expects to find at a neighborhood bar.
To finish off your meal, the Cove also offers two delicious desserts: tiramisu (who doesn’t love tiramisu?) and the chocolate coconut. The chocolate coconut is a half coconut shell filled with coconut ice cream and topped with hot fudge sauce and macadamia nuts. Think almond joy, but better. I highly recommend this dessert.
The main event at The Cove is the cocktail menu. Marshall has a true passion for cocktails, and not your run of the mill Beale Street fruit punchy knock-you-on-your-knees cocktails, either. Marshall has devised a list of cocktails to rival any neighborhood bar in the Big Easy. With drink offerings like sazerac, the Cove martini, the vampire, the sidecar, the manhattan, and a real margarita with fresh-squeezed lime juice, the Cove’s cocktails are definitely the star of the show. Cocktails are served in traditional hi-ball glasses and are not over ice, but don’t worry, they are plenty cold.
Hours: 5PM-3AM, seven days
Rating: 3.5/5 spoons
Ambience: 4/5 spoons
Food: 3/5 spoons
Service: 3/5 spoons
Macrae Schaffler writes the food blog Edible Therapy.