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Gracie's Somerville

I enjoyed the ice cream I had there, but their prices are higher than Toscanini's. When I asked how big each size was, they were vague and described that they add more or less to the same sized cup. Less than I expected for the price, but the product seemed rather good.

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Jan 18, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Are there any highly recommended vegetarian entrees in the Greater Boston area?

VeeVee in Jamaica Plain has great vegetarian dishes and on Wednesdays, they do a vegan fixed price tasting menu.

Myers & Chang's noodle dishes off of their vegetarian menu (ask for it) are rather good, too.

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Jan 14, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area
1

The hawthorne in Kenmore, how's the food?

They are hindered by the size of the kitchen there (tiny!), but they do excellent work with that adversity. Seems more like food that can be prepped in advance and served cold/room temperature or quickly reheated. The pretzels are indeed noteworthy.

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Jan 07, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

"Tickets" for Restaurants

Systems like the non-full cost have already existed here. For example, giving your credit card at the time of making a reservation (I found that system incredibly distasteful especially since it was generally never written or mentioned (less legally binding) what they could charge you or if they would charge you if you didn't show).

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Jan 07, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

"Real" Eggnog

The store bought stuff is highly processed. Why not make it yourself. For a nonboozy version, this is what I make at work:

2 oz Heavy Cream
2 oz Milk
1 Egg Yolk
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup (*)
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup (*)

Shake once without ice to emulsify, shake again with ice, and dump into a rocks glass (restrain some ice if too many cubes were added). Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg (sometimes I also add freshly grated coffee bean and clove). Add a straw.
(*) These syrups are easily bought (such as BG Reynolds brand at the Boston Shaker store) or made yourself via recipes online. Subbing in simple syrup and a dash of vanilla extract and a pinch of powdered cinnamon will also work in a pinch.

For a boozy version, I reduce the milk to 1 oz and add 1 1/2 oz of spirit (often dark rum) and sometimes 1-2 dashes Angostura Bitters. Looks like this when done: http://instagram.com/p/w9oGcfmBdS/

Don't know if anyone is doing aged eggnog here. A lot bigger of a tradition in West Coast bars (sometimes prepped a year in advanced).

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Dec 28, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Batavia Arrack in Boston area?

I've gotten it there and Ball Square Fine Wines in Somerville.

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Dec 21, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Is it just me, or is this really utterly ridiculous?

So scrap the one that you paid a lot of money to have built so you can run your own (that you now have to build from scratch) that looks a fraction as good? I see.

Dec 10, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Is it just me, or is this really utterly ridiculous?

At what size of restaurant should you be hiring an IT staff to put up said website? Once you hit 50 employees or 200? And should this be before or after you get an HR department?

The only restaurants that seem to update themselves are ones that do menus by dreaded PDFs for download (or in one case an unsightly tumblr). Most web companies don't let their customers tinker with the code themselves (which is why many go the upload a new PDF route) and charge for every time they are asked to change a detail. A few places, notably beer bars, seem to do it themselves though most likely through an interface to keep the draft list up to date.

Dec 10, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Is it just me, or is this really utterly ridiculous?

Most restaurants don't have people in house that can access their website. In-house staff where I work use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. For the rest, they have to get their web company to do it. Not a perfect excuse, but it's not 2 seconds or free, and while my restaurant's page is currently up to date (I just checked), parts of it have been off for a long while. Often it takes a patron to comment to get things fixed.

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ISO Quiet place for a winter drink, Harvard-Porter-Davis Squares

I believe that Grendel's Den in Harvard Square has mulled cider and/or wine in the colder months. Decent beer selection including a beer brewed for them by Sam Adams. Mellow and not overly loud from what I recall.

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December 2014 Openings and Closings

The Rapscallion guys are often by the bar I work for we are one of their larger accounts. They brought along their chef who looked over our menus. Most of the talk was about the food program, and less about the beer.

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Nov 26, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Make your own bitters

I used to make bitters a lot before they were widely available (cerca 2008). The only kit you need are a few jars (like Ball canning ones), a tea strainer (or other mesh sieve) for coarse, and a funnel and coffee filter for fine. A scale (good for 0.1 gram) and a lab notebook, too. Recycling old bitters bottles works for the dispense or going to SpecialtyBottle online for eye dropper or dasher bottles/caps. For quicker filtration, I recommend the vacuum filtration kits (side arm flask such as a 1 liter, a B├╝chner funnel and filter paper disks, and a hand vacuum pump). Takes an hour+ process into under 10 minutes. Great for regular infusions too.

I got my herbs online from Frendzco on eBay (no clue if they're still around) and a few other places as well.

For some of my old recipes:
http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/se...

I can go into how I develop bitters flavor combinations if you'd like.

Nov 23, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Copper Moscow Mule mug?

I highly recommend the ones at Cocktail Kingdom. They have plain and engraved for $15/each and are the ones that I sport at home:
http://www.cocktailkingdom.com/catalo...

The Boston Shaker store has the unengraved Cocktail Kingdom ones and two Japanese copper varieties:
http://www.thebostonshaker.com/shop/s...

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Nov 23, 2014
yarm in Spirits
1

Are there any good veggie burgers to be found in chain burger joints? [in the Boston area]

Best food available at 3am though (although I wake up knowing that I ate there but I usually attribute that to the fries). Can't wait for 24 hour Clover in Central for when I work late at night.

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Nov 23, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Viale in the old Rendezvous space in Central Square?

My midweek trip (I believe on a Wednesday) was much more sedate and there were plenty of other people around my age (43). Music wasn't blaring for I could have a great conversation with my neighbor at the bar.

I would recommend re-trying it on a non-Friday/Saturday night if you did enjoy the food and drink. Many places change on the weekend nights (which is why I generally go out Sunday-Wednesday or Thursday).

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Nov 16, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Aperol Spritz

Also the St. Germain Cocktail (equal parts elderflower liqueur, sparkling wine, and soda water) follows the same formula.

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Nov 13, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Looking for Branca Menta?

Ball Square Fine Wines in Somerville has it.

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Nov 13, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

November 2014 Openings and Closings

Gracie's Ice Cream in Union Square, Somerville, is opening on Friday (11/7) in the old Sherman Market space (22 Union Square). Aaron Cohen, one of the co-owners, has done a lot of events around town with Eat-Boston. 3-9pm weekdays, noon-9pm weekends.

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Nov 05, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Is it appropriate to request specific glassware when ordering a cocktail?

"Manhattan on the rocks" is all I need to hear that the guest wants it in a Double Old Fashioned. "Manhattan up" is enough to know that they want it strained and put in a cocktail glass. Otherwise I'll ask "up or on the rocks?"

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Oct 22, 2014
yarm in Spirits
1

October 2014 Openings and Closings

Not sure of an exact date. Maybe 2010 or 2011? I based it off of one of the items that I frequently got (quality and price). It went from something I craved and enjoyed to something that made me unsure of why I ordered it.

Oct 19, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

October 2014 Openings and Closings

Indeed. We were regulars due to the food... and then stopped going because of the food (the quality was dropping as the price went up, although it was the quality that changed the most). Still stop in for a beer though.

Oct 19, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

October 2014 Openings and Closings

I do like some of their beers especially their IPAs. I just hope that they run their brewpub/beer garden with more hospitality than they have shown to bartenders, liquor store owners, and writers. Lashing out at the people who sling or promote their products hasn't been all that great of a strategy in my book.

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Oct 19, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area
1

October 2014 Openings and Closings

With Bukowski's across the street and Lord Hobo, CBC, and Mead Hall just down the street, it would supplement the beer bar crawl I often recommend (well, when Buk's re-opens in December).

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Oct 19, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Beer Bribery in Boston

Wilcox denies asking brewers for a damned thing. The BeerAdvocate thread supports the concept that he asks the distributors for things, not the brewers themselves, though. And Pretty Things distributor (who does other brands) took a stand not to give out $$, free kegs, or product in exchange for business.

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Oct 16, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Speakeasy - Boston

True, but it is quiet when I usually go at the violet hour between 5-8pm. After 9 or 10pm, it can indeed be rocking.

Oct 12, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Speakeasy - Boston

Brick & Mortar on Mass Ave in Central Square, Cambridge. No sign, just go in the unlabeled door next to Central Kitchen and walk up the stairs. Solid cocktails. Program started by Drink and B-Side Alumni, and continued on by a No. 9 alumni bartender.

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Oct 10, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Alden & Harlow

There are other bar programs that are doing farm to glass cocktail programs such as Sarma, Eastern Standard, Baldwin Room at Sichuan Garden, Backbar, etc. Wouldn't call it a lead since others did it here first (and tons more on the other coast where the trend probably started), but their dedication to it is a bit more extreme than others.

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Oct 10, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

The craft cocktail craze has jumped the shark

As to the orange blossom water amount, I have only straw tasted this drink and don't know what it is like from beginning to end. OBW is powerful stuff and only 3-4 drops should be sufficient for a drink like a Ramos. I don't recall which OBW we started with, but I think we are using Fee's now. All are in amber dropper bottles at this point.

The drink name I believe is a reference to the post-apocalyptic movie by the same name.

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Oct 09, 2014
yarm in Spirits

The craft cocktail craze has jumped the shark

A Boy and His Dog just came off the menu. Generally served in a cocktail glass (especially since we don't have large ice cubes, only KoldDraft, hotel ice, and crushed ice). The recipe was created by Jay Miranda. I interpreted the dropper to be about a centimeter or so of the dropper (a dash or two) and I used a pinch of salt on top of the lime wheel. In a pinch, Green Chartreuse will work for the Genepy.

A BOY AND HIS DOG
1.5 OZ: BATAVIA ARRACK
.75 OZ: DOLIN GENEPY DE ALPES
.5 OZ: CINNAMON SYRUP
.5 OZ: GRAPEFRUIT JUICE
.5 OZ: LIME JUICE
1 DROPPER ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER
SALTED LIME GARNISH.
SHAKE/STRAIN INTO COCKTAIL GLASS. COAT 1 SIDE LIME WHEEL WITH SALT, DROP IN SALT SIDE DOWN

Oct 08, 2014
yarm in Spirits

The craft cocktail craze has jumped the shark

First off, most places' cocktails are bad. But given the ones making good ones here, they are in restaurant-driven establishments.

There are only three bars in Boston that I go to for cocktails that aren't mainly restaurants (however, these 3 share a liquor license with a restaurant that is adjoining either next door or on the floor above or below). It might have to do a lot with liquor licenses here being so costly and requiring that food is served.

Also, as someone who works at a bar, I am glad that I can make a living off of selling food so that our drinks can be of a higher quality (instead of relying on just volume of booze being the most important part to earn a living) as well as the hospitality being higher.

Oct 08, 2014
yarm in Spirits