If you own an upscale restaurant and have gone to the trouble and expense to stock a full bar, you might want to make sure the people you hire to work behind said bar know what they are doing.
I bring this up because there seems to be a lack of knowledgeable barkeeps in town. I’m not talking about the cocktail dens that offer 12-step concoctions made with housemade ingredients. I’m referring to a couple of high-priced steak joints that don’t know their Absinthe from a Hair of the Dog.
This week I received two complaints that curled my Tom Petty-esque hairdo. Listen to this one:
We went to a nice steak place that displayed their elaborate cocktails on a nifty little iPad. It looked like they really knew their stuff. I wasn’t interested in their signature items, but I did order a Boulevardier (essentially a Negroni with whiskey instead of gin).
The waiter comes back five minutes later and states: “The bartender wants to know what’s in that.” Somewhat taken aback, I blurted out “Tell him to Google it.”
Has anyone else had this problem of a huge bar that cannot execute basic, if not a little obscure, cocktails? How do you handle it?
You shouldn’t have to handle it. If a bartender does not know how to look up a cocktail recipe, they should be fired. You are paying a premium to be taken care of during your dining experience. The waiter should have thought twice before he asked you. (The Boulevardier has a freakin’ Wikipedia page!) It’s one thing if you order an off-the-menu drink at Chili’s; it’s quite different when the entrees at the restaurant start at $30. Jerry Thomas and Harry Johnson just moaned from six feet under.
I think there are too many restaurants and not enough talent to go around.