Layers of taste

1022 South unveils new spring/summer menu

By Jennifer Johnson on March 23, 2011

Small, manageable steps of growth are what have seen owner and operator Chris Keil and 1022 South through the last two years since opening the Hilltop, Tacoma, craft cocktail lounge.

"Consciously taking the time to put out a good product and provide good service, that's been our goal," Keil says of the bar's goal while making a Cherry Shrub.

Just as with new cocktails, like bartender Corey Lund's La Gitana (a wickedly delicious, spicy beauty made of Sotol, lavender and chamomile infused honey, allspice dram and their very own Hellfire tincture), Keil aims for layers of taste in the food that will be presented on 1022's spring/summer menu when it debuts next week.

"We're strongly behind the slow food movement," says Kiel. "The idea of being aware of all that you're tasting and eating requires you be present."

Accessible comfort foods are where Kiel has taken the menu with the help of Lauren Ballweber, formerly of Enoteca. When filled with thought-out flavor combinations of gourmet cheeses, quality meats, uncommon accoutrements of handmade sauces, aïoli, dressings and roasted tomato jam, a sandwich becomes much more than merely bread, cheese and meat. 1022's new menu puts this on full display. Grilled panini and toasted sandwiches will be served on potato demi baguettes made by Macrina bakery in Belltown. Vibrant flavor pops of dried, deep red Montmorency cherries and basil, and buttery notes from Marcona almonds make snappy salads of mixed greens, crunchy cucumber and onion with light proteins and regionally made Blue Rose Dairy chevre goat cheese. Ballweber's honey and brown sugar balsamic reduction and dressings tie flavors together.

Focus has been placed on providing quality vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as expanding the menu for meat eaters. Keil is hopeful that beyond the cocktails, the dozen snack and small plate options, the four larger cheese, meat and combination plates, the many sandwiches, the handful of salads and the amazing desserts by Corina Bakery will be cause for more people to venture to Hilltop this spring.

"The more people we bring to the neighborhood, the more I think it will help revitalize the area," says Keil. "I'd love to see a coffee shop, another restaurant or even another bar open on the Hill."

Ever the community-focused Tacoman, Keil invites one and all to celebrate 1022's two-year anniversary Tuesday, March 29, beginning at 4 p.m. To ensure all enjoy 1022's handcrafted cocktails in an un-crowded, stress-free environment, names will be taken for a wait list. Seating is first come, first serve - standing room will not be an option, but waiting for a table while at Tempest is. New 1022 cocktails will be only $6 throughout the evening.

[1022 South, 1022 S. J St., Tacoma, 253.627.8588]