Shaken and Stirred at H Harper Station

The Vesper, the Bramble and the Cosmonaut out on a Friday night.

Last night we joined our friend and amateur cocktail mixologist, David, for Friday night drinks at H Harper Station (www.hharperstation.com). Billed as “A Modern Watering Stop” and housed at the historic Atlanta & West Point rail station in the Reynoldstown area of Atlanta, it’s a very friendly, casual and inviting place.

David already had a Vesper on its way when we arrived, my spouse ordered the Cosmonaut, and I went for the Bramble. The drinks, while on the smallish side, were well-crafted out of the finest ingredients. The Vesper was smooth as silk, conjuring images of Daniel Craig as Bond in Casino Royale. The Bramble was a light, refreshing and slightly sweet drink over ice, made with Plymouth gin (my favorite), lemon, sugar (which I asked them to pull back on and was pleasantly obliged) and creme de mure, a blackberry flavored liqueur. Though all of the cocktails were excellent, our fave of the evenings’ libations was the Cosmonaut. Made with rittenhouse 100 proof rye, bonal gentiane-quina (an herbaceous aperitif wine from France), lemon and creme de yvette, it was a truly unique and flavorful cocktail that left one wanting more…and we all did have another.

They have food there, too, and it’s pretty good, with some of our dishes being really terrific and some a little less so. We shared cocktail nibbles of beautifully presented watermelon radishes, thinly sliced with butter and salt on the side, and the marinated olives…how could you go wrong? Spouse and I both ordered the Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich, which included a simple, but very light, elegant and delicious tasting side of the local lettuces salad topped with fried okra croutons and lightly dressed with a vidalia-buttermilk vinaigrette. I could have mowed down a plate of the okra alone, had it been offered. Unfortunately, the Hot Brown just wasn’t. Though made with good ingredients, it fell a bit short of evoking the original dish, lacking the creamy and luxurious mouth feel and taste that one expects from Mornay sauce…plus it wasn’t hot. David ordered the Bacon & Egg Fettucini—the hands down winner in the food category for the evening—made with house-cured pork belly, poached egg, swiss chard and snowpeas, and reminiscent of a silky carbonara, but with a nice flavor boost from the chard and peas. Other dishes that looked and smelled good around us were the Beltline Burger, the Salmon, the Mussels, and the Pimento Cheese & Tomato Soup dish which is still calling to me. Ah well, next time.

All in all I give H Harper Station a thumbs up as a fine watering hole, and a place with some reasonably-priced and quality ingredient nibbles. The wait staff and the owner were friendly and welcoming, and seemed like folks I’d enjoy sharing a drink with…and I plan to return.

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