The transformation of the space located at 1035 E 17th Avenue is spectacular. What was Las Margaritas for nearly two decades now houses the brand new Argyll Whisky Beer. This 2.0 version of restaurateur Robert Thompson's gastropub is thoughtful, charming, and sure to become a staple of the hot Uptown neighborhood.
The interior is cozy and inviting with subtle and smart design details that create the feel of an upscale yet approachable pub. Highlights include a wall of flasks by the entry, a whisky display wall, and a funky art piece cobbled from old belts.
Chef John Broening created a menu focused on traditional British fare, incorporating Britain's 'second food', Indian to reflect historical eating patterns of the U.K. Instead of heavy dishes, however, the chef added seasonal elements to brighten and balance the food.
"Argyll will provide a beer and whiskey-friendly cuisine anchored in the classics of British pub food: fish and chips, shepherd's pie , Scotch egg, the English fryup breakfastall of which I've tried to rethink and freshen up," Broening said. "We also offer a few twists on Britain's second cuisine - Indian- with vibrant curries and chutneys. There are light, clean salads including an orange olive and mint salad with a blood orange vinaigrette and a black quinoa and faro salad with roasted squash and a whole lemon dressing, plus an extensive housemade charcuterie program focusing on sausages, terrines, hams and pates," he added.
The menu also features playful dishes like the English Breakfast which borrows all the elements of the classic morning dish and shrinks them down to a single bite and a ramen dish called A Spot of Tea, which sauces a bowl of ramen , pork , egg and vegetables with a tea-infused broth poured tableside from a bone china teapot.
The list of whisky alone is worth a visit to Argyll. The focus is on global variations that provide a broad range encompassing value that is suitable to all levels of connoisseur, from novice to expert palettes. "Our beer and whisky selection pays homage to the old world of whiskey and beer, while being closely tied to the modern American trends and artisanal producers," said Ryan Conklin, who is leading the beverage program. "The cocktail menus aim to be both approachable and adventuresome, touching on affordable classics as well as modern interpretations," he added.
Argyll will open tonight at 5 p.m. Regular operating hours will be Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2am.