When Oriole was closed for 16 months during the pandemic, Noah and Cara Sandoval used the time to expand the space, rethink the entire fine-dining experience, and create a fantastic ham sandwich.
“We always wanted to have a bar in the restaurant, so we put one in,” Cara says. “The bar is now part of the experience when you dine at Oriole, but the last seating is at 9:30 p.m., and after that, it’s empty.” So at 10 p.m., they open the space, which has six bar seats and two small lounge areas, for a nightcap service.
It’s a small but appealing menu. Julia Momosé, creative director at sister spot Kumiko, developed a list of mostly stirred cocktails, like the Rye Society, a boulevardier riff with Earl Grey–infused vermouth, and a rich old-fashioned tinged with herbal Braulio and date vinegar. The ham sandwich is Noah’s ode to the deli sub he’d eat after clocking out at his first cooking job in Richmond, Virginia. “It was super simple but executed really well,” he recalls. “It was very comforting for me to eat every night.”
He slathers a feather-light Phlour demi baguette with walnut mustard from Rare Tea Cellar, then layers on paper-thin slices of Edwards Virginia Smokehouse country ham and Publican Quality Meats mortadella. Raclette and an arugula salad dressed with lemon and poppy seeds finish it off. “It’s high acid, high salt — what I want when I’m drinking,” Noah says. It’s perfect with the Rum Ham, a savory blend of rum, sherry, and pickled mustard seeds, or a glass of sparkling pear cider from Normandy.
Before last call at 11:30 p.m., order the only other snack: a warm salted peanut cookie. It’s a sweet bite that will send you out the door, ready to make your way home. Book on Tock. 661 W. Walnut St., Fulton River District