The aforementioned guides and "best of" lists have always been very kind to The Everleigh and it was frequently topping many of these lists.
Entering the bar, you will feel that you are in a different era; one where professionalism, attention to detail, service and courtesy are not only exuded by the staff, but the key word - courtesy - is expected of the patrons. Being a very orderly person, I really liked that if you are going to drink at this place that you are expected to be seated and of course take advantage of the very efficient table service but also relax and enjoy the surroundings, the anonymity of the private booths and more importantly nobody knocks into you or jostles you as they attempt to get into position at the bar as standing around is simply not allowed. This creates a very relaxed and managed environment that allows the staff to do what they do best.
There were two bartenders on duty when I was there on Saturday evening. They have to be the two of the hardest working bartenders that I have had the pleasure of baring witness to. I didn't need to consult the menu but instead gave the opportunity for the bar to produce what they thought was suitable based upon known preferences, mood and of course with an end game in mind since the spirits and heaviness of what is concocted is gradually changed so each drink builds on your last experience and your palate is not destroyed. Some bars like Der Raum have been very successful with their cocktail degustation option however The Everleigh does not do adhere to a degustation menu per se, what they devise and deliver is based upon pure consultation and for a hedonist, I was in my zone - transported to a bygone era where people were consultative, polite and the expectation of courtesy flowed both ways.
I couldn't fault The Everleigh and it would have had to be my best bar-based experience in some time.
1/150-156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065(03) 9416 2229
My Rating: 20/20
Value For Money: 5/5
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com
At the time of this post, 95% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon also like The Everleigh. It is the first bar of 2013 that I have written about that I added the "Top 2013 Experience" tag to.