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Loyal Nine, Cambridge

Some of the staff are Puritan alum including one of the owners and a few of the servers. I am unaware of any ill will and there is a good report with Puritan to this day. In fact, the attitude is supportive of other establishments near and far (such as hoping that Lone Star II opens up soon). Perhaps I have missed something, but it seems to be one of the least catty and competitive places around.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

about 16 hours ago
yarm in Greater Boston Area

coppa,blue dragon, myers and chang

Why can't you have both? Coppa for charcuterie and a drink to begin. Myers & Chang around the corner for dinner; maybe a nightcap at the Franklin? I have enjoyed Blue Dragon but I would pair it with Tavern Road in a similar way to keep travel time and effort to a minimum.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

2 days ago
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Your cocktail of the year?

I think that we would charge about $20+ for a VEP-Chartreuse Last Word (as opposed to $12). A lot of the special care take in making the VEP product would be lost amidst the lime juice and other ingredients.

2 days ago
yarm in Spirits

Your cocktail of the year?

My main theory on the gin-heavy recipe is to cut costs on making the drink in bars (or at home). Green Chartreuse is about 4 times the cost of gin and Luxardo Maraschino is about double the cost of gin. My secondary theory is that the Last Word is rather sugary and upping the spirit does dry it out (but you seem to suggest that from your comment).

The Last Word for me is a great drink, but I don't crave one as much as I do a Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Negroni, Sazerac, Daiquiri, Pegu Club, or Martinez (or 50:50 sweet vermouth Martini).

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

2 days ago
yarm in Spirits
1

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

That bar shot is a rather cool photo! While not the biggest bar out there, between it and the chef's counter, there's a lot of non-strictly table space to be had.

Coruba rum in the Boston area?

Coruba is definitely at Ball Square Fine Wines ($20/liter) the last I looked a week or two ago. It was below the tequilas for some reason. Still in their online inventory.

Lemonhart 151 hasn't come back, but Ed Hamilton's 151 Demerara Rum is supposed to be even better. I haven't tried that one but I have tried a few of his other rums. Top notch and great transparency on production. Haven't seen any on the shelves yet, but I know that certain bars like Baldwin Room @ Sichuan Garden 2 have it, so it's in state.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 15, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Anisette in a Tiki cocktail as a sub for Pernod?

While Pernod has a much rounder and more complex flavor, anisette will work in a pinch when used as accents in drinks (not as major ingredients).

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 14, 2015
yarm in Spirits

May 2015 Openings and Closings

This is what I wrote in the April openings thread:

"Made it into Tasty Mo:Mo two days ago after they were open/not open a few days before (they seem to have an irregular schedule -- they were there and prepping but not opening for food sales until 2pm that day instead of noon. And the day I was in they were talking about not opening until 4 the next day). If you ignore their deer in the headlights approach to food service (I could continue with examples, but just know in advance to approach the place with a smile), those MoMos and the two sauces were top notch! Both sauces were a bit spicy; at Rangzen, I am used to one being spicy and the other begin more savory. Having no problem with spice, I was quite pleased and paced myself well to make them last until the last Momo. Definitely will be back. And glad they're in my neighborhood!"

Been in a few times since and just as good. Haven't strayed from the momos. Since then, they've lost their tables and chairs since they didn't apply for a restaurant license (just a common victualer one). Otherwise, everything is still cooked fresh, so heads up that there's a 12 minute or so lag time for said takeout food.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 06, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

William Tell Cocktail, at Eastern Standard, by Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin apologizes for the delay due to his busy schedule with Privateer Rum, but he did take the time to write me:

William Tell- a Swiss folk hero who was known for his marksmanship with a crossbow. One of William’s stories tells how he shot an apple off his son’s head with his bow. This cocktail has many flavors happening, but apple is most prevalent. The La Diablada Pisco has been infused with sour cherries and lime.
1 oz Pisco
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Falernum
1/2 Honey Syrup
Combine ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice, shake until properly diluted and chilled. Strain into a chilled pilsner, fill pilsner 2/3 with ice and top with 2-3oz of [Unibroue] Apple Ephemere.

Cheers,
http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 05, 2015
yarm in Spirits

How Much For A Shot Of Johnnie Walker Blue?

My last bar charged around $40/2oz ($35-43 in the 2 years I worked there). From what I recall, the bottle was always a gift of the distributor for the volume that we did with them (and they probably hoped that we would start carrying it regularly).

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 04, 2015
yarm in Spirits

April 2015 Openings and Closings

Yes, just walked by. Sign on the door that soft opening tonight and Friday.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 30, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

How to make a proper Southsider?

My preferred Southside is:
• 2 oz Gin
• 1/2 oz Lime Juice
• 1/2 oz Simple Syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
• 6 Mint Leaves
Shake with ice and double strain (regular strainer plus a tea (or fine) strainer to remove the mint flecks) into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a floated small mint leaf.

There are plenty of people who prefer lemon juice over lime. I just like the combination of lime flavors with the mint more than what lemon brings to the table.

There are also some that prefer to add some soda water and serve it tall as a Southside Fizz.

Not sure of the use of rum -- yes, it would be tasty but it would be more of a Daiquiri variation or pretty much a Mojito (if you add soda water).

As for coloring, lime juice and mint will leave a green hue. Not a Midori-esque green, but plenty green for my tastes.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 30, 2015
yarm in Spirits

A little fancy, feels like a good value, veggie friendly?

VeeVee in Jamaica Plain. Always great comfortable service paired with wholesome flavorful food. They take their veggie seriously (besides doing non-vegetarian fair as well) with around 2 entree offerings per night and do a vegan tasting menu option on Wednesday nights.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 29, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

BISq Inman Sq. Update?

I guess we should take bets on whether they or Tacobellum, er... Lone Star II opens first! Things are looking up for East Cambridge!

BISq Inman Sq. Update?

While the space looks pretty much built out and ready to go from what I could see through the window last week, they only posted a call for servers on the BostonChef's job board on the April 22nd. Looks like the tail end of May from the wording:

"Just a handful of weeks from now the Bergamot team will be opening BISq, a small and lively wine bar and restaurant in Cambridge’s Inman Square. They are very proud to be a part of the exciting restaurant scene emerging in this part of Cambridge."

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 25, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

William Tell Cocktail, at Eastern Standard, by Kevin Martin

The Drink & Tell book came out Fall 2012 and all of the recipes were locked in by May or June. I don't remember this one on the ESKD menu, but I just messaged Kevin Martin to see if he can recall the drink specs.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 25, 2015
yarm in Spirits

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

The caviar was moved off of the veggie roast and moved to another dish (in smaller amounts), so the roast price dropped to $17 (about half of what it was before). Without the bonito butter and clams, it is vegetarian. And when I had it that way, they gussied it up with seasonal vegetables instead.

Apr 17, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

April 2015 Openings and Closings

Made it into Tasty Mo:Mo two days ago after they were open/not open a few days before (they seem to have an irregular schedule -- they were there and prepping but not opening for food sales until 2pm that day instead of noon. And the day I was in they were talking about not opening until 4 the next day). If you ignore their deer in the headlights approach to food service (I could continue with examples, but just know in advance to approach the place with a smile), those MoMos and the two sauces were top notch! Both sauces were a bit spicy; at Rangzen, I am used to one being spicy and the other begin more savory. Having no problem with spice, I was quite pleased and paced myself well to make them last until the last Momo. Definitely will be back. And glad they're in my neighborhood!

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 16, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Pure Vegetarian/Vegan Indian Restaurant

I do miss the Udupi Bhavan that was in Framingham in an old train station. Great aesthetics and hospitality -- it was a destination. The one in Lowell still has great food, but decor and server politeness are not their strengths.

Masao's Kitchen in Waltham is Asian in style

The Loving Hut chain (there's one in Worcester and I think it was the same chain as I ate in Portland, OR)

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 16, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

Other veggie items besides removing the turkey neck from the pondomnast and the sallet are the Harvard beets, the parsnips, the vegetable roast without clams and caviar and bonito butter (unfortunately not a great value at that price point after the removals, but rather well prepared), chips without the dip, and fried beans.

Apr 12, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

I understand that the periwinkles were not for you, but the emotional connection to the periwinkles has been rather great. I remember my wife telling me after the soft open about how she used to gather them in a pail as a kid in Fall River. She would take them home, boil them, and pick the meat out with a pin. And I hear similar stories from my bar guests every second or third shift. It has become one of the 3 biggest bar snacks (the chips and the fried beans being the other two). And the people ordering them are not the highfalutin chefs (who zoom in on other items like the matelote).

The food section "with hands" does try to connote that you will be getting in there. The sticky fingers aspect has been remedied (or a first swing at a remedy) before the end of our first week of service, but the way you need to eat periwinkles is just how periwinkles are.

Apr 12, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

I understand, for I will rule out restaurants under the thought that if the chef wanted to do something for me, he'd put it on the menu. At least there are some vegetarian options on the menu (without modification) at Loyal Nine and piecing those together tapas style would make for a decent meal. And a lot of the menu is meant as a conversation piece, such as "what is a savory supper?" to "can I get this done without dairy?" Chef has put a lot of thought in it to make things highly adaptable by making many of the parts easily assembled in a variety of ways, and the two vegetarian staff members put them to the test for mock service (what precedes a soft opening), and they passed quite well. But I understand your frustrations having been there in many instances myself in not wanting to need to ask for something special.

Apr 11, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

I forgot to add last night, I will pass on the comment to chef. I know that he loves to cook with what is local and in season, so perhaps there will be a bigger vegetable-driven aspect as things become more available.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 11, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

I understand, speaking as a vegetarian as of 22 years who makes dining choices as you describe. My biggest concern was when one of my friends who is vegan showed up and what we could do for him, and when he sat at a table last week (so I wasn't even serving him), he was treated just fine and left quite happy. A lot of the dishes are built to order so various allergens and animal products can be left out. An entree like the pondemnast (grain-based Algonquin one pot stew) can be made vegetarian if you leave out the shredded confit turkey neck, and made vegan minus that and the egg yolk added at the end to add richness. Another example is the vegetable roast can also be adapted quite well if you leave out the fish/shellfish elements.

Keep in mind that the chef won my respect (and the reason I joined his team) was one of his Brass Tacks events back in 2011 that was completely vegetarian. Photos via facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...

Apr 11, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area
1

April 2015 Openings and Closings

Closed only 2 weeks after I said to my wife (as we drove by) how great it was that they survived after such a long chain of owners/name changes. Can't name them all, but they were the Grateful Deli at one point and probably 2-3 other names in the last decade or so.

Apr 10, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

The strange saga of UpperWest

Do not look at the liqueur bottles at the bar downstairs though -- horrific fruit fly morgues. Their beer still pours well and relatively cheaply for the area.

Apr 09, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Mandatory 20% at Select?

And by his discretion, the owners and investors can take all, some, or none of it as well. There is nothing tying the service charge to paying the waitstaff.

Erick Castro said it best here: http://www.eater.com/drinks/2015/3/3/...

While it isn't fair that the back of the house doesn't get paid enough, the front of the house won't stay on if they're not getting as well paid overall as the place they just left or the place they can go next. End result could be utopia or a back of the house that gets paid a bit extra and a front of the house that doesn't care to give you good service due to the fixed rate.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 07, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area
1

April 2015 Openings and Closings

According to their latest job ad, they plan on opening on 4/13.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 05, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

Just a note about the periwinkles, as of Friday, they are served with rolled up housemade fingerwipes. The management does indeed listen!

And yes, I would love a larger bar (considering I'm a bartender there) but it had to work well in the long-but-narrow space. But if you do sit there, you'll get all the more attention.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

April 2015 Openings and Closings

Tasty Momos is apparently opening this week on the 5th (although having just opened a restaurant last week that kept changing its open date, it could be next week).

Tried out the falafel place on Main Street in Somerville twice. Great falafel but they were 0 for 2 in making me "falefel no tomato" despite parroting it back both times. I guess autopilot or our way or no way.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 01, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area