With a sultry design that would put plenty of five-star hotel bars to shame, Galante is a swish new destination for quality cocktails on Sloane Avenue.
Galante is a new venture from the people behind the Gaucho chain of restaurants, and in keeping with the company’s Argentinian leanings, the bar is apparently an ode to one of the country’s most revered bar tenders, Santiago ‘Pichin’ Policrastro.
Situated next door to Gaucho, Galante is a venue in its own right and a small fortune has obviously been lavished on a luxurious interior that includes curvy leather banquettes, an incandescent back-lit island bar and Art Deco mirrored walls. The bartenders, wearing a uniform of white dinner jackets, man the bar and craft the drinks as leggy waitresses see to the front of house in silvery drape dresses. It’s a glamorous setting, one that’s ideal for loaded locals, and there’s not a cow print in sight.
Seeing as you can spend the best part of a £100 on a cushion at the shop across the road – we kid you not – you can expect a fairly wealthy crowd to be in attendance, although it’s not excessively priced by any means so those who work nearby and curious barflies are also likely to take a nosey.
It’s primarily a cocktail bar but the waitresses at Galante will bring over a menu for your perusal while you sip on your drinks and nibble on the complimentary olives and nuts. Seasonal oysters (£6.75), seafood ceviche platters and a trio of mini-burgers served three ways (£10.95) are the sort of things on hand to soak up the booze. As the Gaucho restaurant is next door, some people will no doubt have a drink here before or after a steak dinner.
Undoubtedly Galante’s biggest selling point. The cocktail list has been divided into three distinct sections: first up, there’s a section based on Policrasto’s 1955 drinks bible, Tragos Magicos (Magical Drinks); secondly, there’s a section entitled Influencia Europea, showcasing drinks inspired by European settlers in Argentina; finally, there’s La Argentina Moderna Interpretaciones, a short list of contemporary drinks created by leading bartenders from Buenos Aires. Prices are competitive for the area, starting from just shy of £10. It’s also worth noting that there’s no automatic service charge applied to your bill – an increasingly rare thing.
From the first part of the menu, the signature Galante (£12.50) shows this is no ordinary cocktail bar: white rum is charged up with dry vermouth and cherry brandy, shaken and then served up in a vintage martini coupe, creating a sticky, reviving drink that has a nice surprise at the bottom – a boozy cherry. Elsewhere on the cocktail menu, premium spirits and rarely seen recipes reign.
The Last Word
From its glamorous design to its understated Argentinean theme and inventive cocktail menu, Galante is extremely well-executed. It's a bar that wouldn’t look out of place in any five-star hotel in town.