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Overproof, ABV's Fancier New Upstairs Bar

San Francisco bar ABV has opened Overproof, a spacious experience in the balcony. It operates on reservations (unlike downstairs), so you book a bar or table seat (I believe reservations are for 2 hour slots) and order from a different food and drinks menu than the bar downstairs. 

OverProof_Interior_credit Grace Sager
All photos credit Grace Sager

They offer tasting flights (drinks served all at once), a tasting menu (a coursed experience, and what I'd recommend for your first visit), as well as cocktails a la carte. Rather than $15 cocktails downstairs, they are $16-$22 upstairs (all creative riffs on classics) and made with high-end spirits. They also have a selection of upscale and rare spirits for sale, but I was too distracted by the cocktails to look at the back bar. 

Screen Shot 2019-11-24 at 10.30.03 AM
Screen Shot 2019-11-24 at 10.30.03 AM

Food is mostly not vegetarian, with tinned seafood like sardines and caviar the specialty of the menu. However the salad and potatoes I had upstairs were both great- they do a good job when they try. 

On my visit I did both of the cocktail tasting menus ($40 for 3 drinks or $75 for all 6, per person). Here the drinks are a bit more creative than downstairs (where they tend to emphasize heavy spirits), with coconut-infused McCarthy's whiskey, corn and tortilla-infused mezcal, and homemade Pimm's. The Sauna Cocktail comes with pu'erh syrup and a cedar 'steam' made with dry ice beneath the glass. That's as close to razzle dazzle as you'll ever find at ABV! 

Overall, I really like the new incarnation of Overproof (you may remember it used to be a timed pairing experience with no substitutions) - you have a little more space, some new food and drink options, and you can do it according to your schedule. It's a touch fancier than downstairs but this is no Artesian/impress-the-client hotel bar but more of a date night spot- the prices aren't outrageous by any means, and it's the same great staff. The only trick to it is remembering to make a reservation in advance. 

 

OverProof_McSwizzle 2_credit Grace Sager
OverProof_McSwizzle 2_credit Grace Sager
OverProof_McSwizzle 2_credit Grace Sager

 

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