Who is your go-to bartenders on your day off?
Sahil Mehta at Estragon for a Monday night of hospitality, tapas, and a gander at his drink notebook. Josh Childs and Zamira Hoyos at Silvertone on Tuesdays for Highlifes and veggie burgers. All the kids at Brick & Mortar for reasons my lawyers have asked me not to discuss. And Tony Iamunno at Stoddard's (and the other places he works).
What's your favorite new spot in town?
Straight Law. Between Sean Sullivan's energy and enthusiasm, the not-in-Boston feel of the space, the drinks, and the food, it is an amazing escape destination.
Are there any new restaurants or bars opening soon that you’re looking forward to?
I have been out of the loop of imminent openings, but I cannot wait for Ran Duan of the Baldwin Room to open a space in Boston. The drive back from Woburn forces you to temper the night.
Who do you think is an up-and-coming bartender in the Boston area?
Kevin Morrison at Eastern Standard. Somewhere between being known as Kevin-not-Martin to me actually knowing his last name, I realized that he has quickly adapted to the high level of service that Eastern Standard is known for.
CNBC recently reported that gin is making a comeback because of a "craft distilling boom." What do you think the next "new" thing in the cocktail scene will be?
Craft domestic amaro. Between companies like the Bittermens and Leopold and bars like Alden & Harlow, American herbal liqueurs are on the rise. It is a natural extension of the nonpotable (dash-wise) bitters upsurge a few years ago.
Go-to drink on your day off (and who do you like to make it, if not at home)?
It is either a beer or a new cocktail recipe for the CocktailVirgin blog. As for the cocktails, I like as many enthusiastic and creative bartenders in Boston as possible to make it, teach me something new about cocktails, and give me something to write about.
What's your favorite old-school cocktail? Who makes the best one?