Spirited Culinary Adventures with Natalie Bovis

Millennium Biltmore Bar – Truly Historic Downtown Drinking

I remember the first time I went to the Millennium Biltmore in downtown Los Angeles.  It was many years ago, and I went for afternoon tea with some girlfriends.  Just walking in feels glamorous… like you’re stepping back into a time of fancy dresses and horse carriages.  In fact, some of the earliest Oscars were held there.  (Check out the amazing photos lining the hallway to the restrooms.)  I also fell in love with the bar.  Some of the bartenders have been working there since before I was born!  The Biltmore Bar is currently presenting a Manhattan Menu featuring updated recipes from their 1941 cocktail menu.  Here is how they describe it.  (See you there!):

Considered the grand dame of Los Angeles hotels for nearly a century, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel is paying homage to its rich history by reinventing their long-famous Biltmore Cocktail menu from the 1940’s – a time when the hotel actually manufactured and bottled its own Kentucky Bourbon.

To honor this time period, the Millennium Mixologists have created the “Manhattan Menu,” consisting of six variations on the traditional cocktail, each with unique ingredients and a different type of bourbon. Visiting guests and locals alike can stop by the hotel’s Gallery Bar to sample the updated menu, and to visit the vintage cognacs and liqueurs from the hotel’s early days, including original samples of Biltmore Bourbon, a specially-made house blend from the 1940’s.

“We enjoy paying homage to our storied history with these kinds of touches,” noted Dee Doak, Director of Sales & Marketing. “The ‘40’s were a great time for the Biltmore. The Oscar ceremony was hosted here, and you saw everyone from Katharine Hepburn to Henry Fonda to Louis B. Mayer wandering the halls.”

Open nightly, The Gallery Bar serves specialty house martinis, vintage ports and cognacs, fine wine, beer and cocktails, with live jazz every weekend. And that deja vu you’re experiencing? You may have seen the Gallery Bar in silver screen hits The Italian Job, Rumor Has It and Blow, among others.

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