After twelve hours of relentless precipitation, the Saratoga skies halted the rains just in time for the ribbon cutting ceremony at Hamlet and Ghost, a new bar that brings style and verve to the southern section of Caroline Street.
Upon entering, patrons may feel they've been transported to another time or place (New York in the 60's or maybe present-day Williamsburg, as was what this patron felt). Either way, if you feel yourself entering another dimension, then you're experiencing the central charm and essence of Hamlet and Ghost.
The owners' vision for the bar is inspired by some of their favorite New York City haunts. "We thought, well, 'it's a little more Brooklyn than we thought it would be'," says Dennis Kiingati, who hails from Kenya. Dennis is one of two co-owners. The other, Brendan Dillon, sports a stylish pair of Warby Parkers and a confident gait, as he serenades customers and attends to diners. With his urbane charm you might be surprised to learn that Brendan is actually Saratoga Springs native.
And the bar mimics his flare: more than just some misfit, the vision for Hamlet and Ghost represents a vision for what Caroline Street could look like in the coming years—the combination of local knowledge and appreciation, paired with cosmopolitan sophistication. I recommend one of their signature cocktails, Penicillin: a perfectly blended scotch with muted lemon flavors and an exotic ginger syrup, topped with egg white that transfigures a spiced cocktail into a smooth beverage that polishes the tongue with a rich citrus coating.
Cocktails aren't all. Small plates are punctuated with big flavors, inspired by Colin Murphy. It's unclear what the plates being delivered from the kitchen are, as the lightening-quick and uber-attentive wait staff zip dishes from kitchen stoves to diners' tables (a whiff of a protein dressed in rosemary overcame this diner).
All-in-all, these owners—who are more aptly described as tastemakers—have crafted a vibrant bar that is sure to last. Expect that Hamlet and Ghost will live up to its name, becoming a regular haunt for Saratogians with an eye and mind for style and taste.