That evening, we ordered empanadas. Stuffed with ground pork seasoned with aji amarillo (a Peruvian chili), oregano, and garlic, the three miniature turnovers were garnished with cumin-lime yogurt. From flaky, golden crusts to piquant filling and zesty sauce, these little pies were perfect. Salmon cakes, on the other hand, were not, the patties nearly flavorless underneath their crispy Panko crust and heap of micro greens. We also found the puerco cubano, or Cuban pork sandwich, not as tasty as we had hoped, the lightly layered braised pork, prosciutto, Comte cheese, and pickle filling insufficient for the dry, overly dense house-made bread. For dessert, I returned to the cocktail menu, ordering a Wynwood--aromatic, nutty Rhum Barbancourt mixed into a frothy, well-balanced, grown-up milkshake with RumChata, a creamy cinnamon-scented rum liqueur, lime juice, egg whites, and Angostura bitters.
Our final visit was after a long, exhausting day that had extended late into the evening. It was actually near midnight, and I, at least, needed most to sit down. I ordered a Dr. Ordinaire, and as I slowly sipped it, I felt the warmth of the gin and absinthe seep into my veins and reanimate my muscles. My husband chose a simple absinthe--the bar has many--and we watched the ritualized preparation, ice water dripping from a special fountain, gradually dissolving the sugar cube resting over the glass, clouding the clear liqueur. Nothing happens quickly at the Last Word--not cocktails, not food, not service, particularly on a busy night. Don't go when you need to knock back a quick one or when you're in a hurry. Do go, though, when you've time to savor the ceremonies and delights of bar and kitchen, an intimate conversation, or shared revelations. You'll be happy you lingered.
The Last Word
301 W. Huron Street