January 2015

Bringing World Cuisines to a Local Level

World cuisines have evolved: 30 or 40 years ago, fewer people were traveling broadly just for the purpose of food. The global food cooked in America was followed to the letter a little more; chefs were less daring.

Midday Menus

Sam Hellman-Mass, chef/partner at Odd Duck in Austin, Texas, couldn’t shake off the realization that his staff turned people away when the restaurant closed between the hours of 2:30 and 5 p.m.“People just wanted a bite to eat and not a full meal.

Don't Get Burned in Your Kitchen

The success of any restaurant ultimately lies in the food. Is it creative? How does it taste? How is it presented? But the food is a function of the creativity and talent of your chef—the master of your kitchen.

The Guide to Menu Design

For San Diego seafood institution the Brigantine, the road to a new menu began with an old website.The Brigantine is one of those restaurants that’s been around for quite a while. Founded in 1969 by Mike and Barb Morton—and now run by their son Mike Jr.

Street Smarts

When Ed Barnett and Karim Webb opened their Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar in south Los Angeles’ Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw district three years ago, the franchisees knew the odds they’d face.

The Grapes of Craft

Clippers in one hand, I duck under the vines, snipping bunches of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Sweat rolls down my neck. It’s not easy to find these grapes. Gnarly branches and rough leaves scratch my bare arms.

Patrón XO Café Incendio

The new product and third in the XO Café line from Patrón is a blanco tequila–based liqueur, made with rich Criollo chocolate and spicy Mexican arbol chili.

D.O.M. Benedictine Liqueur

Supposedly based on an ancient recipe made by monks, Benedictine is a delicious liqueur with flavors including honey and allspice that make it perfect in cold-weather drinks.

Angel’s Envy Port Finished Bourbon

The hard-to-find cask-strength version of this bourbon was rated the best spirit in the world one year, but the readily-available 43.3% ABV flagship offering is nothing to scoff at, either.

Ron Zacapa Rum

If your bar has only one aged rum, it should probably be Zacapa. Even if you offer a small collection, it should certainly be included.

Laphroaig Select Single Malt Scotch Whisky

This landmark Laphroaig bottling combines flavors (and probably stocks) of their Quarter Cask, PX Cask, Triple Wood, and Ten-Year-Old expressions into a new non-age-statement whisky.

Ancho Reyes Liqueur

This spicy, bartender-approved liqueur is perfect for the bar program that eschews Fireball but doesn’t want to lose sales because of it.

Michter’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon

For this limited release—that I have a feeling will become a permanent one—Michter’s begins with bourbon aged in traditional new, charred oak barrels, then finishes it for a time in a barrel made o

2011 Waterstone Carneros Pinot Noir

A smoky, earthy nose eases into a palate rich with black cherries that lingers, while packing on more spice—yet not too much to distract from the food.