Naked for Satan
285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy (map)
Naked for Satan is a gorgeous, shiny, Basque-style pintxos bar that opened a week ago on Brunswick Street.
I went to check it out on Tuesday night with the lovely mlles Jess and Kate. We were wearing our highest high heels and our reddest red lipstick. Jess began, as is her wont, with a bloody mary (a 'Bloody Satan'), and I'm glad to report that it lived up to her bloody high bloody mary standards. Kate got a beer, then a Cava. I liked the sound of the cocktail with vodka, Campari and grapefruit juice, but I COULD NOT bring myself to order something called 'Lucifer's Lovejuice'.
So I got a cider instead. They have Bulmers (with 'A Naked Twist') on tap. Also on tap is an ale called 'Naked for Satan Ale' - but as Jess so rightly pointed out, 'Ale Satan' would be a much, much better name!
Pintxos (pronounced 'pinchos' and spelled with an 'x' in Basque) is the name for certin kinds of snacks commonly served in pintxos bars in Northern Spain.
Naked for Satan has about 30 different platters of them, catering both for omnivores and herbivores. The platters are self-serve and each individual portion is speared with a toothpick. In between drinks you grab a plate up at the bar and help yourself to as many pintxos as you want, and at the end of the night the bar staff count up the number of toothpicks on your plate and charge you accordingly ($2 per pintxo). Here's hoping the honour system works out for them...
And pretty damn tasty pintxos they were too. Highlights included the wagyu bresaola, the pissaladière, the blue cheese, lettuce and quince paste, the capocollo and the toothpick-skewer of olives, anchovy and guindillas pickled in white vinegar (like they do in Movida Aqui's bocadillos de calamares). The army of Naked for Satan staff would occasionally circulate the room offering trays of hot pintxos: the one we liked was the crumbed veal. It's bar food, and not as posh as the tapas you'd get at the Movidas, Bar Lourinhã or Añada, but at only two bucks per pintxo I'm certainly not complaining.
But that's not all, there's more! It's also a vodka bar, hence all the beautiful steampunk distillation getup in the centre of the room.
I'd heard that they infuse their own vodkas on the premises so I tried their 'Opiumtini', a martini made with 'opium infused vodka'. I asked the head bar honcho to elaborate and he explained that he adds a hint of rose to the poppies he uses to infuse the vodka.
It turns out that vodka distillation is how the bar got its curious name, given the minimal clothing worn by one Leon Satanovich while making illicit hooch in 1920s Fitzroy (read the full story on the Naked for Satan website).
We liked it!