by Barbara Palladino
In Rome’s Monti district, Drink Kong is the latest creation by celebrity bartender Patrick Pistolesi and his crew, including Livio Morena, Riccardo Palleschi, Alessio Zaccardo and Davide Diaferia. The mood they’ve achieved is simply striking: velvet sofas and a mix of soft and neon lights clearly echo New York’s 1980s vibe. The venue’s different rooms feature throwback arcade games and spaces inspired by Japanese “hidden bars” – such as the “Ginza Room”, with its cherry wood furniture and warriors depicted on the walls.
Beyond its look and feel, Drink Kong offers a unique mixology menu: instead of picking a name, you find the flavor or feeling you want to “taste” – after all, this is a self-professed “instinct bar” (“instinct” coming from the Latin verb “instinguere”, meaning “to excite” or “to inflame”). All you do is pick a cue, and your barman will do the rest, coming up with minimalistic drinks with zero decorations – even no straws, to avoid their impact on the environment – and 100% flavor.
Pair your cocktail with international cuisine tapas, smørrebrød (rye bread with butter, anchovies and salmon), steamed dumplings, sweet and savory scones, bao (Chinese, steam-cooked bread) or Eritrea’s zighinì.
“Drink kong, think kong, be kong”: this is the venue’s proud, adventurous, novelty-seeking motto. Almost a tongue twister – but don’t let it intimidate you. Everything here is different from what you might expect. Even one of the neon signs says, “it was beauty killed the beast”.
Piazza San Martino ai Monti, 8 – Rome
06 2348 8666