If you’ve ever popped by for a meal at The Second Floor – Gina and Scott Gottlich’s low-lit, sexy restaurant inside the Westin Galleria hotel – you may have missed that the modern American cuisine destination has a killer whiskey collection. In fact, it’s one of the more extensive sets you’ll find in Dallas, with nearly 200 whiskies on hand, so whether you’re a spirit newbie or an old pro, you’re bound to find something that’s endlessly sippable.
We dropped in to meet with Gina Gottlich, who joyously stepped us through not only individual whiskies but a couple of The Second Floor’s three-part whisky flights. She told us that the restaurant’s whisky collection grew at first out of wanting to supply business travelers staying at the Westin with a solid selection of spirits. As the set grew, however, the Gottliches discovered just how much breadth there is to all manner of whiskies and kept adding to the library. Among the shelves, you’ll find peaty Laphroaigs and sweet Angel’s Envys and everything in between. The menu is divvied into two major categories. “Mostly American” includes bourbons; ryes; Texan, Japanese and Irish spirits; and “curiosities” like High West’s Western Oat White. The other category is blended and single malt scotches, further classified by the region of Scotland from whence they came. What a list!
We asked Gina what the best flight would be for newbies to sip on, and she proclaimed the Grandaddy’s Bourbon as the most suitable, thanks to approachable spirits like Four Roses Single Barrel and W.L. Weller Special Reserve. And her favorite flight? The Big Tex, a tip of the 10-gallon hat to this state’s whiskies: TX Blended, Witherspoon’s Bourbon and Templeton Rye.
My personal favorite was a little number that Gina touted as a must-have: the Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or. I’d definitely add this whisky to the list of good-for-newbie sips. The 12-year-old is aged for 10 years in oak then for two years in Sauterne casks, and the wine rubs off nicely on the spirit, giving it a slight sweetness and approachable mildness. It was love at first sip for me!
And there’s soooo much more to discover from the collection at The Second Floor. Do yourself a solid (or a liquid??) and take a flight of fancy or two from among their spirits library. The restaurant recently launched its fall 2015 menu, so pad your tummy with a new entrée like the pappardelle with Brussels sprouts and pancetta or the excellent braised beef cheek. Bon appétit and cheers!
(Want to explore another great flight in Dallas? Check out our past piece on the fancy flights at DISH Preston Hollow!)
[Disclosure: The Second Floor provided me with complimentary sips and samples of whiskies. These opinions are mine, all mine.]