Bar Review Suggestions?

Do you have a favorite Restaurant or Bar for which you would like a Martini review?  Something elegant or a ‘hole in the wall’?   Oceanfront view or a dive bar?  Let me know and I’ll make every effort possible to visit and report.

As most of my readers have probably surmised by now, I frequent the Los Angeles / Orange County and Philadelphia areas periodically.   Review requests in these areas will get the quickest response, but any requests will be honored as soon as is feasible.


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Perfect Coffee!

No, this is not a post on how to make perfect coffee.  I have my hands full with a Perfect Martini.  But I wanted to elaborate on something about which I’ve been preaching.  And that is properly chilling the martini stem.  And to illustrate that I’m going to use hot coffee.

Have you noticed that when you pour your freshly brewed coffee into your mug in the morning that its not as hot as it was in the pot?  Its because the room temperature mug cools the coffee slightly.  Just as a room temperature Martini stem immediately warms the colder just shaken Martini.

Now you won’t notice this affect at Starbucks (OK, or Peets, or Dunkin Donuts, or Coffee Bean, etc.) because they put their hot coffee in a paper cup.   A paper cup which has a very low thermal mass, so it doesn’t affect the coffee temperature much.

Try this at home.  Brew your coffee and simultaneously pour equal amounts of coffee into both a ceramic mug and a paper cup.  Or plastic ‘solo’ cup.  Then immediately taste the two side by side.   Which one is hotter?

So how to solve this problem?  Well when I turn my brewer on I also take my mug, fill it with water and pop it into the microwave for 3 minutes.  While the coffee brews the microwave heats the water in my mug which  heats the mug.  When the coffee is brewed I dump the water from the mug and put the hot coffee into the hot mug…. problem solved.

Bar Review: Stubrick’s Steakhouse and Bar, Fullerton, CA

Martini Glass Sideways

Stubrick’s is know locally for their steaks and deservedly so.  They are very good, as is everything else I’ve tried.  The service is fine and the servers are friendly.  There is live music on the weekends and pool tables upstairs.   The decor is ‘rustic comfortable’.   A very nice local hangout.

The Martini was also ‘comfortable’.  Nothing exciting, nothing special.  The stems are not pre-chilled though the barkeep did attempt to chill the bowl with ice water.  Additionally when shaking the Martini the barkeep was rather unenthusiastic. As such the finished product was only cool and that didn’t last long at all.

The mix itself was fine; appropriately dry with just a hint of vermouth and properly diluted.  Maybe just a tad over-diluted?

It really is a comfortable restaurant and bar with very good food.  But come for the food, not the Martin.

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Thoughts on Stemware, Part Three

Its been a while since I shared some thoughts on stemware, so here are a few Friday Musings….

Crooked stems?  Split?  Or big sweeping curving stems?  Is there some reason for a crooked/curved/split stem that I’m just not seeing?  Or is this just trendy?

And I’ve already demonized those little squat ugly stems in the past.  (You can find my past stemware comments in the “Stemware” category over on your left.)

What about colored stemware?  I’m partial to clear crystal so I can see what I’m drinking.  Ok, maybe a colored ‘stem’.  I know there’s no difference in taste or thermal affects so maybe I’m just being traditional?

Anyplace that offers a Martini in a plastic stem should be shut down immediately.  Unless you’re on a pool deck of course.

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More Pages to Enjoy

Have you checked out our pages yet?  They’re right up top on the green menu line.

Want a chuckle?  There’s a few Martini and general libation Quotes to lighten your day in the page “Martini Quotes”.

Want to find a past bar review?  Yup, there’s a page for that too, very cleverly called “Links to Past Bar Reviews”.

There are more pages ‘in work’ so check back regularly.

May 20: 30 Days to National Martini Day

The countdown continues unabated, only 30 days until National Martini Day.   Time to start planning your festivities.

Check out our associated twitter feed for fun martini and ‘good life’ related posts: @Shk_Nt_Strrd

Architizer 2015 A+ Award to Bombay Sapphire

Architecture website Architizer recently announced the winners of its 3rd annual A+ Awards.  These awards highlight the best new building designs from around the world.

The “Factory Warehouse” award this year goes to Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Hampshire, United Kingdom.

The gin-maker commissioned the creation of the company’s first in-house production facility, which will also be open for members of the public to visit.  Formerly a water-powered paper mill, the site contains more than forty derelict buildings, many of historical significance, which have been regenerated and restored.

Check out the website below for more details and some beautiful photos.

Bar Review: Mastro’s Steakhouse, Costa Mesa

Martini Glass UprightMartini Glass UprightI did a review of Mastro’s in Thousand Oaks a few months ago and recently had the pleasure of visiting their Costa Mesa facility.  One would hope that the martini in Costa Mesa would be as fine as that in Thousand Oaks.

I am pleased to report that it was.  This small Southern California chain of steak houses really does an exceptional job of constructing their Martinis.  As in Thousand Oaks, the martini was well chilled, perfectly mixed, and served in a chilled stem.   As before the shaker was left on the table so the Martini could be ‘topped off’.

Oh and the food and service were, as expected, outstanding.

May 14: 30 Days to National Gin Day

The countdown continues unabated, only 30 days until National Gin Day.   Time to start planning your festivities.

Check out our associated twitter feed for fun martini related posts: @Shk_Nt_Strrd

May 13: Happy World Cocktail Day

Toady is World Cocktail Day!

Why today?  Accepted lore?   Almost: the date coincides with the earliest use of the term “cocktail” in the May 13, 1806 edition of the The Balance and Columbian Repository.  Therein the article defined a cocktail as ‘a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind – sugar, water, and bitters.’

Though there may have been earlier references to the word ‘cocktail’, The Balance and Columbian Repository appears to be the first to define it as a drink.

I hope everyone will have a Martini, or other libation of your choice, to celebrate this special Day.


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