Inspired by the success of upscale watering holes like Ball & Biscuit, Libertine, and Bluebeard, Valerie Vanderpool, chef and co-founder of Zest! Exciting Food Creations (1134 E. 54th St., 317-466-1853) is getting in on the cocktail craze. In April, Vanderpool plans to open Twist Lounge in the former N. Rue spot next door to her SoBro restaurant. The lounge will have a “sparkly, Paris boudoir look,” according to Vanderpool, who plans to apply Zest’s philosophy about food (“make it fresh, use quality ingredients, add a little whimsy”) to drinks such as the Cuzmopolitan and the SoBro Long Island Tea. “It’s going to be a total extension of what we’ve been doing for the last six and a half years,” Vanderpool says.
The menu will feature Twist versions of classic cocktails as well as original creations. Vanderpool is sourcing her wines and spirits from Crossroad Vintners, a distributor that works with small to mid-sized producers around the world. A small plates menu is in the works as well.