Cocktails In The Kitchen

I love discovering the kind of eateries where I can enjoy a casual lunch with friends or a romantic night out with my husband. I found that kind of day-to-night versatility when I stopped by Grondin: French-Latin Kitchen for lunch with a friend last week. Located at 62 N. Hotel St. in the heart of Chinatown, Grondin has got a tempting, eclectic menu. Think Ratatouille meets a Croque Madame and everything in between!

It’s a fairly small venue — a craft-style bar and a handful of tables make up the entire place — but outside, there’s also additional seating in a picturesque backyard. It is very reminiscent of The Secret Garden, which it truly is amongst the concrete jungle, and offers an elegant, intimate dining experience.

While my mouth was watering over the culinary delights, my eyes quickly shifted to Grondin’s drink menu. Offering a wide variety of wines by both the glass and bottle, I opted for one of their signature cocktail creations. Admittedly, making a final choice was difficult as they were all unique and appealing. I went with the Floriana, a refreshing blend of citrus, Aperol and sparkling wine. A cocktail made with sparkling wine always has my name on it, and the fresh orange peel at the bottom of the glass added an extra kick of flavor.

My friend chose the N. Hotel, a mix of your choice of gin or vodka (she chose gin), cucumber, sage, coriander, lemon and ginger beer. To me it was like a delightful spa in a glass! Refreshing and light with the perfect flavor-to-liquor ratios. What more could you ask for?

If you go: I recommend making a reservation in advance and parking in the Chinatown Municipal building located just down the street, as street parking can be hit or miss.