We could write this review without pointing out that Entourage bears the same name as an HBO comedy-drama. We could, but we’re not going to. Partly because it’s a real gas to imagine more such establishments – a bar called ‘Girls’, for instance, where it’s ladies’ night every night – and partly as it’s no mere coincidence. The management affirmed the direct association in their press release. Sometimes jokes really do come true.
Having never seen the show, we were worried that there’d be something to ‘get’ and that we would not ‘get it’. This being the worst feeling in the world, we’re happy to report that you’ll not need to catch up on eight seasons of episodes to enjoy Entourage. The homage stops at the name. If you ‘get’ what it is you’re generally supposed to do at bars – that being drink – then congratulations: you ‘get it’.
What we did find was that Entourage takes a rather practical approach to decorating: the owners have made the place into an art gallery. There’s hardly a stretch of wall that isn’t bristling with pop art. The flip side is this: art isn’t always so appetising. Only after we had settled into the comfy leather couches did we notice what was looking down on us: a decapitated pig head, its skin a patchwork of autumn colours, fangs bared, with bloody tears coursing down its face.
Much easier to swallow were the drinks. ‘Entourage Inspiration’ cocktails are 80RMB and stack up favourably with similarly priced offerings around the city. The Wine on Top, a blend of gin, peach liqueur, Martini bianco, apple juice and red wine, is artful, as is the Cool Ginger – with vodka, Cointreau, ginger ale, and fresh orange and ginger – which our own cool ginger companion took particular pleasure in drinking. The Fruit BBQ is so-called because it includes a tiny cornucopia of skewered fruit for the munching. A sweet perk, no doubt. Entourage is not quite ‘more than we imagined' – that’s a slogan reserved for the inimitable HBO – but for Central Park swilling, it excels.
By Jared Cline