Ashland?s Newest Asset

A much-needed mild and calm winter night led a friend and me to Liquid Assets, Ashland’s new wine bar across from Brother’s. Since their opening last summer, I’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 did…

We chose a spot in the back by the bar and admired the framed photos of a majestic bald eagle…until the menus found their way to our high-top table via our friendly server with dazzling “New Year’s Eve” 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 Crème Brûlée, 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 ‘nourishment’ to arrive, I admired the balance struck between cozy, classy, and relaxed in the bar’s atmosphere (akin to a mellower Hong Kong Bar) but was soon absorbed by Ken Hart, that evening’s live musician. His mellow acoustic versions of popular love songs (including Cat Steven’s “First Cut Is The Deepest,” and Coldplay’s “Yellow”) 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. That’s as far as I can go with it – 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) – and of course, the other desserts! I recommend you all do the same.

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