WATERIN’ HOLE: Unleashing the Tiger

By on March 14, 2018

An eclectic Asian eatery has happy hour dialed and the cuisine to match

Pink but potent: ‘the jasmine.’ (Helen Goelet)

JACKSON HOLE, WY – It’s 6 p.m. on Thursday and the glow of Teton Tiger beckons me inside. The marble bar basks in a red hue reminiscent of a speakeasy a continent away. But a patron donned in ski gear and a beanie reminds me I’m indeed in Jackson Hole.

Skiers, professionals, visitors—the bar is full of drinkers and diners. Yes, word has gotten out of this Asian eatery’s wallet-friendly and worldly happy hour.

From 5 to 6:30 p.m., the Tiger offers half-off specialty cocktails, beers and wine. Like its food, the restaurant’s cocktails combine flavors from all over Asia, spicing up classic combinations with cardamom, coconut milk and lots of ginger. A rare occurrence in most restaurants around town, drink and dinner specials are on tap every day.

When I ask bartender Kara Munsey about the evening’s drink special, she cocks her head and rolls her eyes up in thought. “It’s called ‘the jasmine,’” she says. “It’s got gin, Campari, lemon and  St. Germain. It’s floral with a touch of bitterness from the Campari.”

The drink arrives pink, mirroring the lighting, with a twist of lemon. Munsey was right—floral with just the right amount of bitterness and not sweet at all.

The cocktails, she says, are dreamt up by the Tiger’s team of inspired drink-slingers. “It’s nice, we all get to have a hand and be creative.”

A unique atmosphere probably fuels the staff’s creative drink and food recipes. The dark wood floors and British Raj deco create a vibe unlike anywhere else in town.

Aside from the cocktails, the bar menu boasts a variety of beers and sakes that you won’t find anywhere else in the valley. Kingfisher, an Indian lager with a bitter undertone, pairs well with spicy dishes. Never had Funaguchi? Order this sake in a can. It’s cheaper than buying a bottle, but doesn’t taste it—it’s not sweet or syrupy.

When it comes to food, follow TT’s Instagram for the day’s ‘gram special. The restaurant offers deals on dishes for followers. Pro-tip: If no special is available, go for the green curry.

While perusing the menu, I noticed a new addition: a gaeng tay-po. A Bangkok hot and sour red curry with salmon and Chinese cabbage, the dish is a nice balance of flavors and textures. The acidity of the cabbage cuts through the fat of the salmon and coconut milk. But for $26, it is the Tiger’s most expensive dish. Order the street noodles if your tastebuds are bigger than your wallet.

If you can’t make happy hour, Teton Tiger serves lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. I stopped in one afternoon for a quick tandoori tikka burrito, filled with a combination of tandoori and tikka masala chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes and cilantro. The cucumber raita and mint chutney give that extra zing to bring out some of the best flavors of India right here in Jackson Hole.

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