The Bar at Willett is a reservation-only, high-end distillery restaurant that serves craft cocktails and has tapas-style food options.
This past summer, we had plans to visit the Willett Distillery for a bourbon tour and tasting.
After years of visiting distilleries in the area, one thing I've learned is that it's always a good idea to check out the food options ahead of time. Some distilleries are in fairly rural areas, and restaurant choices can be limited.
I was thrilled to discover that the Willett Distillery has a restaurant: The Bar at Willett.
Reservations for The Bar at Willett
The Bar at Willett is reservation-only, and does not serve walk-in customers. You can make reservations on their website, or by calling the number listed on their site.
We tried to make reservations online, but it was full. So I joined the waitlist.
Since I didn't hear back from the waitlist, I called and they were able to get us a seat at the bar area. Calling is worth a try even if the website says they’re full.
When scheduling your reservation, make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy the meal without feeling rushed. We had reservations two hours before our distillery tour and that seemed just about perfect.
Arriving at the Distillery
Head to the main distillery visitor's center.
If you arrive early and want to relax outside, there are shady cabanas.
The restaurant entrance is inside the gift shop area.
Simply head up the indoor staircase. There's also an elevator if you have trouble with stairs.
Once you arrive at The Bar at Willett, you'll see a posh, tiny dining and bar area. It's both popular and small, so it makes sense that they only take reservations.
Menu Pricing at The Bar at Willett
Before arriving, I couldn't find the prices listed anywhere, which made me a little nervous. Here's what to expect.
You could spend a small amount or a WHOLE lot, depending on what drinks you order.
When we were here, the standard cocktails were $13 and the tapas (small plate) options started at $10. The menu changes often, but that should give you a ballpark idea.
The Bar at Willett also has an extensive, multi-page menu for rare and vintage high-end spirits (mostly bourbon) tastings.
Ordering Drinks + Food at The Bar at Willett
We skipped the rare drinks and went with a Bee Keepers cocktail and a Manhattan.
I chose the Bee Keepers cocktail because the bartender said it was his favorite drink — and he was right, it was fabulous. I loved that the ice cube was molded with the Willett logo.
The Manhattan was one of the best we've tried, and we loved that they chilled the glass with dry ice just before serving.
Everything on the food menu is small plate style, and they recommend two plates per person if you want a whole meal.
The Bar at Willett is known for their egg salad sandwiches, so we made that one of our plates. It really was incredible, I highly recommend! What makes it so special? The menu lists smoked mayonnaise and yolk jam, but have fun working out what else might be in play here!
We also tried their crawfish hush puppies, which I enjoyed a lot even though I'm not usually a fan of hush puppies.
We also ordered the eggplant dish, which used tiny delicious eggplants, garlic, pepper, and basil.
Our fourth plate was the fried chicken thighs, which were also delicious with its flavors of passionfruit, honey and ginger, although I admit I was getting too full to eat many of them by this point!
For dessert, we shared a Basque cheesecake with a raspberry puree, and it was the creamiest cheesecake I’ve ever tasted.
Afterwards, we walked downstairs to the visitor center espresso bar and got a latte.
If you’re in the area, this is definitely worth a visit!