Smith Street is officially excellent. We've known this for a while now. Bottle and barrel-aged cocktails have just joined the party thanks to The Noble Experiment, the new speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar that has just set up shop. What used to be the Old Comarty's building on the corner of Smith and Otter Street — and most recently Agent 284 the cocktail bar — has once again changed pace.
The exposed brick, leather couches you could lose yourself in and kooky finishes are not a stark difference to the old space, but this new venue is making quite a bit of noise already. A library lines the walls — a fake wallpaper type library — making you feel a little like Hemingway as you sip your cocktail.
With a name like The Noble Experiment, which nods to the ban that we all know as the prohibition, the fact that cocktails are the order of the day is no surprise. On the second level the cocktails really come alive, as do the staff who talk about them. While bottle and barrel-aged cocktails will be served on an old-school trolley allowing the staff to tell you a good old story about them, there are other non-aged cocktails also on offer. The Punchy Peach Ice Tea is rather easy drinking with a mix of peach liqueur, spiced vanilla syrup, and sparkling peach tea ($28 serves 2-4), while the Outrageously Good Espresso Martini is a mix of Herradura Anejo tequila, spiced agave nectar, fresh espresso, and spiced vanilla tincture ($18). You can also sip of Gapsted Prosecco from the King Valley ($9 glass), a Fattoria Ormanni Chianti ($10 glass), or go for something op tap — Little Creatures Pale Ale, Bright Ale and I.P.A are all pouring.
On the opening floor, indulge in a menu designed by Cameron Bell who is no stranger to Michelin starred restaurants in both the USA and Europe. His menu takes inspiration from North America, France, and the UK. Start with chunky chip poutine with oxtail gravy and cheese curds ($14) or crispy Brussels sprouts, coconut, and green chilli caramel ($8) as you sip your cocktail. The main event here is the steak. Flank, flat iron, or hanger, they are all served with aligot potatoes, and reduced Zinfandel and old style Woodford Reserve whisky jus. If meat isn't your thing, you can opt for a house specialty of a whole head of cauliflower roasted with cheese and beer ($16).
Spanning three levels, including a basement that takes the speakeasy vibe that little bit further, it also doubles as a venue space for when the occasion arises.