I ended up at Makeready by accident several weeks ago and have started a monthly pilgrimage there either for a meal or a drink.
Makeready is in the new boutique hotel Noelle located on the north side of Broadway close to Printers Alley. There are a lot of these cool little hotels popping up on the business side of Broadway and I love it. I have no idea what it is like to actually stay at the Noelle, but I can tell you how it is to eat and drink there. It's always good to know that the hotel you pick has a great restaurant and bar. If you end up getting in late or the weather turns, it's good to have something on-site you can count on.
Makeready has communal tables, regular tables, hightops, and banquet seating along one wall. If you prefer one or the other, mention it in your reservation.
The cocktail menu is intregueing to say the least.
The Bandera is a mezcal based cocktail paired with a pony Miller High Life. The cocktail was good but I was confused about the beer.
Founding Fathers is rye based and pretty strong, slow-sipper kind of a drink.
The Golden Ratio is bourbon and yellow chartreuse and was a hands-down favorite with us and our fellow speakeasy patrons (more on that later).
Food is meant to be shared but I'm sure no one will gripe if you want it all to yourself. I often dine alone when I'm traveling and I think this menu lends itself to the solo diner, so no worries there.
One thing we have ordered each time is the butter lettuce with puffed farro. Perfect light salad with rice crispy like texture.
The calamari was good but just typical. If you are craving calamari you won't be disappointed.
The scallops and grits were great and had "corn smut" which I have no idea what is but made for a tasty dish.
How can you go wrong with bacon and pickles? You can't! This was more like a thin piece of pork belly so it was soft, not like a crispy piece of bacon.
For something heartier, we tried the ribeye with red chimichurri and charred onions. The steak was perfectly cooked and we LOVED that sauce!
We tried two deserts, the gooseberry tart and the carrot cake. Both were good but I think the carrot cake won by a hair.
If you are up for it, head over for a nightcap in the speakeasy. There is no sign, there is a door that says "storage".If you have trouble, just ask and someone will point you in the right direction.
Photography is strongly discouraged in the speakeasy. In my defense, that rule is written on the menu and I didn't look at a menu until my second visit. I Instagram-storied the hell out if it and no one said a word. Discouraging phone use really does lend to a convivial vibe. We ended up sitting on a couch with some fellow locals and traded bar/restaurant recommendations. As a matter of fact, the only people we have run into here are locals. That's a good sign!
If you need to walk off the alcohol, take a turn through Printers Alley for some fresh air before turning in.
Makeready is located in a cool hotel, with a cool vibe, and in a cool part of downtown that the locals highly recommend!!
Reservations to Makeready