They call it Slow Food, but let me tell you that some of the biggest lines are at the drinks tables. Of all the sections, though, I have to give the nod for the beer pavilion as the best of them all. Why? Not just because it's the quickest service, but because of the diversity and breadth of the selection. The beer pavilion is divided into three bars, each representing a method of beer delivery: bottle, cask, and draught (below).
After months of traveling and nose-to-the-grindstone work, I finally made it to Orson, only about six months after it opened. Considering that restaurant critics don't even give new joints the customary two-month lag before reviewing them anymore, my tardiness could be seen as more than genteel. Anyway, I wasn't going in to review it but to enjoy it. And, largely, that's what I did.
Well, she's been back for a while, but I never made a note of it. If you remember, I posted back in January about Range bartender Brooke Arthur, who was injured with smoke inhalation in an apartment fire back on New Year's Eve. Well, after several long months of recuperation, she returned first to the city and, a couple of months ago, then to her job.
Naturally I was thrilled and surprised to encounter Martin Cate (below), the brilliant tiki mind behind Alameda's Forbidden Island, with his own table, pouring one of the best drinks of the evening.
In the spirit of Independence Day, I want to remind you of a incredibly simple, delicious and often forgotten cocktail with a patriotic name: the Americano. Now, it's not so much a Born-in-the-USA kind of thing, as it doesn't actually use any American ingredients. Rather, it's Italian in conception and components, joining equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth. Originally, the drink was known as the Milano-Torino, since Campari is from the former and Cinzano vermouth is from the latter. But it got renamed when locals noticed that visiting Americans seemed particularly smitten by the cocktail.
I'd been meaning for some time to get over to Epic Roasthouse to try the cocktails of the illustrious Camber Lay, who made a name for herself at Frisson back in the day. As long as I've known her, Camber has been one of the most inventive bartenders in the city, daringly combining disparate ingredients, playing with things like vinegar and unusual rims.