A much-needed mild and calm winter night led a friend and me to Liquid Assets, Ashlandâ€™s new wine bar across from Brotherâ€™s. Since their opening last summer, Iâ€™ve often admired the cozy ambiance from the wrong side of the glass and vowed that I would soon be sipping something red on the right side. And so I didâ€¦
We chose a spot in the back by the bar and admired the framed photos of a majestic bald eagleâ€¦until the menus found their way to our high-top table via our friendly server with dazzling â€œNew Yearâ€™s Eveâ€ earrings. Then a decision had to be made. I was most concerned with which dessert we would be sharing, but was grateful that my friend made a good impression by caring about the wine. They had a well-rounded, though limited, selection of sweet treats and we bypassed the Chocolate Espresso something-or-other, Lemon Ginger and White Chocolate Cheesecakes, Cappuccino CrÃ¨me BrÃ»lÃ©e, and Biscotti (and possibly something else) and went with what caught our eye to begin with: the Chocolate Almond Torte. Oh yeah, and we split the Petite Syrah flight.
While waiting for our â€˜nourishmentâ€™ to arrive, I admired the balance struck between cozy, classy, and relaxed in the barâ€™s atmosphere (akin to a mellower Hong Kong Bar) but was soon absorbed by Ken Hart, that eveningâ€™s live musician. His mellow acoustic versions of popular love songs (including Cat Stevenâ€™s â€œFirst Cut Is The Deepest,â€ and Coldplayâ€™s â€œYellowâ€) were a perfect pairing for the intimate setting.
Then a small mound covered in a satiny chocolate ganache appeared between us. The inside turned out to be a moist, dense almond cake. It was good. Our consensus was that it needed something more to be really good: my friend said a stronger almond presence was missing and suggested a raspberry filling, and I (unsurprisingly) proposed that a rich inner layer of chocolate mousse or more ganache would have left me satisfied. Alas, I have been known to be a bit of a glutton in such circumstances. I’m working on it, I’m working on it.
Ah, and the wines were good. Thatâ€™s as far as I can go with it â€“ for me, wine is either good or it is vinegar, and it was definitely no balsamic.
I will definitely go back to try their savory offerings (panini offerings that made my mouth water) â€“ and of course, the other desserts! I recommend you all do the same.