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Thistle Lodge’s bar gets a makeover

By Staff | Dec 27, 2017

Oolong Hai and the Mezcal Paloma - two of Eleanor’s new cocktails. ASHLEY GOODMAN

The Thistle Lodge is in the process of revamping its bar. The goal behind it? Restaurant manager Sean Ramsey said he is looking to attract a younger crowd.

“We wanted to make it more millennial-friendly,” Ramsey said.

The restaurant is holding a soft opening for their new bar, Eleanor’s, on Friday, Jan. 5, at 6 p.m.

“We’ll have a happy hour for the soft opening with discounts,” Thistle Lodge Food and Beverage Director Michael Allen said.

In addition to a new menu, the bar will also get facelift. A grand opening will be held in the coming months.

Eleanor’s will feature a wide variety of local beer on tap, a new cocktail menu and tapas.

Thistle Lodge’s Executive Chef John Wolff said the tapas offer a lighter, smaller fare for guests.

“You’ll still have something available if you don’t want a full-blown meal. If you want a fine dining experience, we have that as well,” Wolff said.

Some of the highlights on the tapas menu includes the singular sensation scallop which is comprised of a seared scallop, a mini crab cake and a jumbo lump crab nugget. The tapa is then topped with a citrus vinaigrette, arugula, tomatoes and a shallot salad.

Another interesting concoction is their seared duck breast salad which features caramelized cipolini, frisee and blood orange. The salad is then topped with crispy olives, sundried tomato polenta and is drizzled with a toasted shallot vinaigrette and sweet cranberry sauce.

In total, there are 15 new tapas for guests to choose from. Tapas can be ordered from 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

As for their cocktails, Ramsey was the one who came up with the new drink offerings.

“With the craft cocktails, we’re looking to bring in new clientele or maybe (people) that haven’t tried us before,” he said.

Ramsey created six new cocktails for the menu. One of their stand outs is the Smoke In Your Eyes, which is made up of smoke-infused ice cubes, Christian Brothers brandy, simple syrup, cherries and lemon lime soda.

The Tropical Rita on the other hand, is the perfect vacation drink. It’s made with Jose Cuervo Silver Blue Agave tequila, mango puree, honey infused simple syrup, habanero lime syrup and lemon and orange juice. The rim is coated with red pepper flakes and sugar.

Their local beer selection has also expanded. The bar now offers different selections from Bury Me Brewing, Millennial Brewing Company, Point Ybel Brewing Company, Fort Myers Brewing Company and St. Pete Brewing Company.

“The taps were something we were missing for awhile,” Ramsey said.

Eleanor’s is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.