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Pat Pourri — Bits and Pieces for Starters 06.10.11



Updated: September 8, 2011 12:27AM

Most every new restaurant I have been to in the last nine months features a separate menu of “hand-crafted cocktails,” and Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar has cocktails that feature not only amusing names but some really far-out combinations (a dozen or so). The “Yamato Sling,” for example, throws together gin, sake, green tea syrup, lemon, cherry bark, vanilla bitters and seltzer water. All cocktails are $10, so if your tab has taken on some heft, don’t blame it on the food (the prices are reasonable).

Speaking of sake, Union goes to great lengths to quench your thirst for sake. A double page of sake choices by the glass and bottle along with an elaborate definition of the characteristics of each (“expressive,” “clean,” etc.) and its grade (junmai, honjozo, ginjo, daiginjo). In other words, Union is serious about its sake service.

Hand-crafted cocktails are prominent (and ably explained) at Three Aces on West Taylor. For example, here is how the “Et Tu Brute” cocktail verbiage wets your whistle: “With Jim Beam, yellow Chartreuse, lemon, that leaves the taste of honey lingering.

And at Sable Kitchen and Bar on North State, there is much ado about the “mixology team” that tends to the “natural harmony between spirits, wines and cuisine.” Give me a break. It seems as if booze has taken over the food end of the restaurant business. Of course, everyone knows that you make a lot more money selling booze than food And  that it takes fewer people, generally lower-priced help, to swizzle a stick than to sizzle a steak.

Pat Bruno

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