Chris Messina, beverage director and sommelier for the three Harlan restaurants in Hartford, Stamford and Norwalk, says the snow cones joined the menu after they experimented with a new ice crusher. Recent flavors have included wild blueberry with vodka and passion fruit with tequila.
Harlan's cocktails span "modern" and "classics revisited"; the former using flavors like yuzu, elderflower, passion fruit and Earl Grey-infused gin, and the latter celebrating recipes like the time-honored Old Fashioned, Negroni, Sazerac and Corpse Reviver. Drinks are $12 to $16.
"Being a cocktail lounge, I was hoping to get some people who are really into their bourbons or old-school cocktails, or just have people revisit some of those drinks that are great, and you don't think to order them," Messina says.
Select signature cocktails, which originated at Stamford sister restaurant Harlan Social and carried over to the menu at Norwalk's Harlan Publick, have made their way north to Hartford. These include the Red Tail, with pepper-infused vodka, passion fruit and Thai chili; the Devil Wears Nada, with silver tequila, lime, Luxardo and chili pepper; and the Dirty Pickle, Harlan's version of a Tito's vodka "dirty martini" and seasonal pickled veggies.
"We want every restaurant to have its own personality, but still have a little bit of a link to each one," Messina says. "We brought [these] up there and they still prove to be our best-moving cocktails."
The restaurant's Side Bar offers a menu of casual share plates ($5 to $13): charcuterie and cheese, chorizo tacos, Korean fried chicken, wasabi prawns, duck fat and truffle popcorn and lettuce wraps with miso cod or vegetables. A new happy hour, available Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., features $5 appetizers, $6 cocktails, $5 select wines and $3 beers.
Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner is available Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Side Bar lounge is open Tuesday through Saturday starting at 3 p.m.
Harlan Brasserie is at The Goodwin Hotel, 1 Haynes St., Hartford. 860-904-7292, harlanbrasserie.com.