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Strolling along Central Avenue on a Saturday night, admiring the historic Luhrs Tower before stepping inside to experience Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlor with a sense of adventure and some friends in tow, is a quintessential Downtown Phoenix experience. Of course, it’ll be a little while before we get to do that again. Thankfully, we can still enjoy the B&T experience at home.
The world-class cocktail lounge was quick to close its space at the beginning of the pandemic, out of an abundance of caution for the safety of its employees and guests.
But, in true Bitter & Twisted fashion, proprietor Ross Simon and chef Bob Tam have wowed us with a fresh and creative to-go menu featuring succulent dim sum, and canned versions of its award-winning cocktails.
From cheesy egg rolls and crispy pot stickers to a spicy fried rice tuna bowl, the menu won’t disappoint. Bob Tam kept some items pretty traditional, but got creative with others.
Take the veggie “garden” potstickers for example: The sautéed green dumpling dough is stuffed with zucchini, shiitakes, cured black, green olives, tomato, mozzarella, ginger and garlic. A favorite among vegetarians and omnivores alike.
The bao royal is also a great example of Tam’s unique twist: The pan fried pizza dough pillows are filled with caramelized ground chuck, onions, Swiss and American cheese, pickles and sesame pizza dough. And they’re served with a kimchi thousand island sauce.
And just when you think he’s done, Tam has one more trick up his sleeve: The Impossible meat dumplings, featuring plant-based “meat,” ginger, garlic, scallion, bamboo shoots, chili, shiitakes and other flavors. Served with a Chinese honey mustard. Also worth noting is that all of the sauces and food boxes are color coded so you know you’re using the right sauce. Simple, but so appreciated.
Ross Simon isn’t frequently lauded as one of the best barmen in the U.S. for nothing. He meticulously crafts each of his cocktails with the finest ingredients for the best experience possible. And his ingenious canned cocktails live up to high standards of a true B&T experience.
There are currently around 16 options on the to-go cocktail menu including the popular lemongrass collins, the classic mojito, a watermelon hibiscus margarita and a choose-your-own pack of three pack.
Each cocktail serves two, and comes with a sealed bag of garnishes and bag of ice to make the drink easy to assemble. Scan the can’s QR code if you’re feeling a little intimidated (it’ll give you instructions).
Did we mention B&T is now open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday? So you can get your cocktail and dumpling fill for brunch, lunch or dinner.
B&T has also made the ordering process super easy. For pickup, you can order directly thru B&T — keep in mind, ordering directly means 100% of your money goes to supporting the restaurant, unlike using delivery apps. Choose your pickup time, then head downtown to collect your goodies from the pickup window on Central Avenue.
Don’t have the time to drive down? Order through a delivery app for convenience and get B&T direct to your door. Available items do vary on different platforms. (According to B&T, Postmates seems to have the greatest menu options and largest delivery area.)
It’s been a long seven months without being able to dine and drink inside Bitter & Twisted’s opulent lounge, but Ross Simon said that they’re still working on a plan to re-open, as safely as possible. So stay tuned and be sure to follow B&T on Instagram for updates.
When you order
Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
1 West Jefferson
Phoenix, AZ, 85003
Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.