Mity Nice Bar & Grill
Mity as in “mighty,” get it? Are the Lettuce Entertain You folks are obsessed with misspelling, or is it that a business name will be easier to remember if someone not only has to tell you what it is, but to also spell it for you? Maybe I don’t like the spelling of mighty M-I-T-Y because the first few times I read it I didn’t get the joke and I mispronounced it. I get the joke now, but it’s still not funny. However, Mity Nice Bar & Grill is a pretty nice place.
On June 29 I was invited to bring a friend to Mity Nice for a cocktail party to introduce its new drink menu. Never one to turn down a free cocktail – or in this case, six free cocktails – I accepted the generous invitation.
Mity Nice is located on the mezzanine level of Water Tower Place. If you were like me you’d only been to Water Tower Place to go to the Lego Store and had no idea there was a mezzanine level. There is: go up to the Lego level (2) then down half a level at the escalators within sight of Mecca … er, the Lego Store.
Mity Nice has two things going on. There’s a cafeteria-style self-serve area with various stations for sushi, pizza, a baked potato bar, etc., and open cafateria-style seating. That area would be good for groups who can’t agree on a particular style of food, those in a bit of a hurry, those with kids, or those burdened with shopping bags from all the stores in Water Tower Place.
Then there’s Mity Nice Bar & Grill, a restaurant and bar that’s tucked away beyond the bustle of the cafeteria area. There are comfortable booths for dining, a long bar with stools, and a lounge area with bar-height tables and a banquette.
The cocktail party took place in the lounge area. The tables were adorned with paper-lined baskets of potato chips and votive candles. Then the drinks – and their accompanying information cards – began to arrive.
Yes, information cards. Each drink came with an informative coaster that listed the name of the drink, the approximate date of origin, a bit of historical information, and the contents. Between Mity Nice and Filini, my booze education is coming along nicely.
There were six drinks: kir imperial, bee’s knees, aviation, manhattan, old fashioned, and margarita. Each drink was an interpretation of the “original” drinks. For example, the kir imperial was a kir royale with Chambord instead of cassis; the old fashioned, traditionally made with bourbon, had vodka as its base; and the margarita was watermelon flavored.
Traditional does not necessarily mean better. All of the drinks were tasty, depending on one’s preference. My favorite drink was the bee’s knees, a vodka-based cocktail with honey and lemon, but my friend thought it was too sweet. My friend liked the bourbon-based manhattan, but I let him have the bourbon-soaked cherry in the bottom of mine. I’m not a fan of gin so the gin-based aviation wasn’t my thing; my friend, an avowed gin lover really liked it. My friend was quite disappointed that the old fashioned was made with vodka, a liquor he doesn’t like, instead of bourbon, but I like vodka and thought Mity's old fashioned was tasty.
We both thought the margarita was the least enjoyable of the drinks. It tasted of fresh watermelon … and not much else. Someone who didn’t like the taste of tequila but did like the taste of watermelon would probably like it; it seemed watery and bland to us. And I take issue with the information card indicating that the margarita was “invented” in 2012 despite the historical information on the very same card letting us know that it became popular during Prohibition when Americans slipped into Mexico for some legal booze.
Six cocktails with just a few potato chips to help soak up the alcohol is never a good idea so Mity Nice provided some passed appetizers. The bacon-topped deviled eggs were too good. Too good because every time a server walked by with a tray of them I wanted another. The tomato on the basil flatbread was sweet to the point of almost-but-not-quite sun dried tomato territory and the bread itself was thin and crisp. The avocado in the guacamole-topped chips was nice and buttery in a way I’ve not found in the avocados in the local grocery stores; maybe Mity Nice has a line on California avocados shipped with care.
The food and drinks were pretty, as you can see in the accompanying photo gallery (all photos by Dave Astels).
Overall the cocktail party at Mity Nice Bar & Grill was a lovely experience. I can definitely see stopping in for a drink and/or a snack the next time I need some more Lego MiniFigures.