SquareMeal Review of
Artesian at the Langham
Under Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale, Artesian was repeatedly voted The World’s Best Bar. Can successors Dino Koletsas and Gabor Fodor now reclaim the crown? They’ve certainly produced some quaffable, high-end drinks on their 20-strong ‘Perception’ list, which was a year in development. Sip, for instance, La Penca de la Vida (Don Julio Blanco Tequila, Montelobos mezcal, lesser-known agave spirit raicilla, aloe soda and cactus essence), and be transported straight on to a Mexican beach. Much effort goes into novel bespoke stemware and quirky serves; La Penca is sipped from under a living aloe plant bedded in the lids of Aztec urns hand-thrown in Israel. But whether you think a faultless Manhattan (made with Talisker malt whisky, Unicum herbal liqueur, vermouth, verjus, samphire and ‘rain’) is improved by its vessel – an internally strobe-lit, white faux fur, cumulus cloud-like cluster – will depend on your attitude to kitsch.