Wednesday, October 15, 2014

:: onthebar interview outtakes ::

Back over the summer, the OnTheBar blog interviewed a bunch of the "en fuego" bartenders and asked a series of questions. One of the answers, namely "Your Favorite Bartenders' Favorite Bartenders," appeared in a post, but the rest of the series dropped off. While sitting at Eastern Standard on Monday night while in front of Kevin Morrison, I remembered that the rest of my answers had lied fallow. Here are the outtakes (in addition to the one question/answer that they used) from back in June. Since sending in my reply, a few names have stepped off the Boston bar including Josh Childs and John Gertsen making this a bit of a time capsule.

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?
A Sazerac. John Gertsen for history's sake. While it has been rumored on the internets that he created it back in the 19th century, he was the one that taught me a love of this New Orleans treat back at No. 9 Park around 2007.

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