CultureMap's Bottoms Up team hit the scene in downtown Houston with a visit to the newly opened The Capitol at St. Germain, located at the intersection of Main and Capitol. The landmark building dates back to 1913 and has a distinctly flapper vibe, right down to the garter belts the bartenders sport on their arms.
Originally S.H. Kress & Co., a five and dime store, the building was converted to loft residences by Randall Davis at the start of the millennium.
With the building restored to its original grandeur, expect to see live music performances on the weekends, with weekday entertainment ramping up. We took note of the recently announced happy hour specials (of course!). Available from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Mondays, enjoy $6 selected wines, St. Germain cocktails and shared bites plus $3.50 domestic beers. Tuesdays take advantage of $3 well drinks and selected wines; Wednesdays stop by for $2.50 domestic beer and $4 imported beer, and Thursdays hit the bar for $3 classic martinis.
St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur is the focus at The Capitol, both at the bar and in the kitchen; you will find it in several of the specialty cocktails and incorporated into the shared plates. We sampled tasty bites including the ménage a fois (pan seared and local fruit compote and torchon with Hot Damn candied shallots and foie sphere) and tri colored truffle chips with white truffle and parmesan cheese.
We also tasted several of The Capitol’s cool signature cocktails. Our pick? The East End Cooler. It is a refreshing blend of gin, St. Germain and muddled strawberries — a sweet sensation balanced nicely by the lime juice and served in the bar's signature St. Germain glassware.
With a little help from our friends — mixologist Michelle and our guest martini shaker, Studio Communications' Stuart Rosenberg — we made our own East End Coolers. The recipe is below. Cheers!
1 ½ oz. Hendrick's Gin
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
¾ oz. St. Germain
¼ oz. Simple syrup
½ strawberry, muddled
Shake and serve over ice in tall glass.