Best Drinks at a Restaurant

Hudson

With its neutral palette, $20-plus entrées, and decidedly well-heeled clientele, Hudson never needed to be an attractive nightspot. The most welcome of surprises, then, when you sidle up to the bar — alone or in a group, before dinner or as a standalone excursion — and realize that the people behind it really, really know what they're doing. Think high-quality ingredients (Velvet Falernum and tobacco tincture), creative combinations (absinthe and black pepper, allspice dram and rosewater), and what must be the most fantastic and fantastical cocktail names in all the East Bay (Lillies and Scythes, Lunatics in the Garden) — all created right in front of you under the watchful eye of Alex Conde, a cult-hero cocktail master with the intuition of a psychic, the mind of a mad-scientist, and the charm of someone who's been behind the bar for a long time.

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