If you’ve ever looked at a bong and wished you could drink a tequila cocktail from it, you’re in luck — bartender Shaher Misif’s new Marina bar Rendezvous has just the drink for you. Throughout his 15 years as a bartender, Misif made a name for himself at Cantina and Bar Drake, among others, as well as earning awards such as the 21 Cocktail Salute at Tales of the Cocktail. But now that he’s the head of his own bar, he’s out to create something wholly unique. And if the playful cocktails are any indicator, he’s achieved it.
The novelty glassware trend is alive and well at Rendezvous, but expect the glasses to hold well-made cocktails. The Netflix and Chill is made with butter-washed bourbon, amaro, tamarind, and elderflower soda, all served inside a familiar red-and-white-striped popcorn box. The Cubby Colada, meanwhile, is a genever-based drink made with flower water, coconut cream, vanilla, and pineapple that’s blended into a slushy and served in a glass shaped like a honey bear bottle. The appropriately-named Mind Blazer is a tequila shooter made with pineapple and an herbal tincture that is served in a clear glass bong. For those looking for lower-proof options, there’s the Sherry Amour made with cranberry and carbonated sherry; for wines and beers, expect natural wine options as well as a range of beer.
There will also be food to accompany the cocktails, with the opening menu folding in a group-friendly charcuterie and cheese plate from Little Bear Boards, as well as a crudite mezze platter with hummus. There’s also party favorites such as Swedish meatballs (served on a tiny sword, no less), a bubbling pot of cheese fondue with bread and pretzels, and bacon-wrapped cocktail wieners. The food will change and expand throughout the year, and there are already plans to host pop-ups in the Rendezvous kitchen. As for the space, Misif has put his own touches on it with bold floor tiles, vivid floral wallpaper, and tchotchkes like toys and funky sunglasses. The Rendezvous team is holding back a few secrets for the opening, but it’s safe to say expect the unexpected.
Rendezvous (2030 Lombard Street) debuts Thursday, April 20, and is open from 5 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.