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brendanc

In Praise Of Bartenders

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It seems a bit odd that I never gave as much consideration to who is behind that two and a half feet of mahogany before and what it takes to remain there. Sure I've had friends behind the bar, sending freebies of guiness and I always tipped well, even for mediocre service. Tonight I have resolved to tip better. After 120 covers, 60 odd tasting menus, a fistfight between busser and frontwaiter, I had to jump behind the bar for New Year's late night. Angry, pleading throngs of postgraduate flotsam and jetsam fighting to get my attention and a drink, a computer system I've never seen and a desire to really start slugging it out when someone keeps pestering me to put their, "super-awesome new years cd in the system". It was fun, and f-ing hard work. I did a poor job I'm sure, really, all I did was say we were out of everything except stella on tap, I can do that. I've come away with a renewed respect for the good bartender and probably won't ever enter a bar with more than twenty poeple in it again.

Charcuterie is a lot more up my alley than a cosmo is....

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Ahh, yes, the shoe and the other foot...I came up as a barback, then a bar tender, I used to say that it was the last honest profession, or, conversely, being on the other side, as a regular, it is cheaper than therapy. Behind the bar, there is nowhere to hide...a trained observer can tell in 5 min if you know your a#* from your elbow. If you are an honest barkeep, you certainly earn every cent, on the other hand, you do sleep well... :)

Been there, done that, might do it again...

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Allow me to announce my upcoming new book, "All I ever really needed to know I learned behind the bar". It's a real education in human nature.

My favorite bartender lives about 250 miles from here. He owns the bar and is behind it every night. He knows more about his patrons they do about themselves. One night he'll follow in the footsteps of his father by having a heart attack and dying behind the bar. Like his father, his funeral portrait will hang on the wall so that all the old timers can raise a toast to him as his son pours them beer.

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Arrity Dreisbach from that place near the zoo.

Is that "place near the zoo" you refer to Palena? If so, I have to say she's pretty great.

I've got a serious weakness for the bartenders at Tunnicliffs, but that's because they've transcended the bartender/friend barrier.

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Know why the Capitol Lounge caught fire? Because that blonde bartender who used to work the back bar was so unbelieveably freaking hot! I used to throw drinks over my shoulder so she'd come round to refill me more often. Actually, that's not true. But it totally would have been if I drank slower. Uh, I'm gonna go now.

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Know why the Capitol Lounge caught fire? Because that blonde bartender who used to work the back bar was so unbelieveably freaking hot! I used to throw drinks over my shoulder so she'd come round to refill me more often. Actually, that's not true. But it totally would have been if I drank slower. Uh, I'm gonna go now.

Um, Andrew: are you going to let us know when Whopper, Jr.'s sibling arrives? Please. Thanks.

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I truly don't know how bartenders in busy restaurants manage to keep up with everything. All of the drink orders, the sheer amount of focus that they have to maintain... I couldn't do it.

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[Name some names on this thread. These great people are worthy of our attention, and deserve to be lauded and held under a benevolent spotlight. Cheers, Rocks]

Tony Allen at Equinox

Jawad and Salvatore and Yee-Hwa at Citronelle

I love these guys, and would do anything for them, and there are so many more:

Jayne at Circle Bistro

Manolo at Taberna del Alabardero

Jamie at Buck's Fishing and Camping

Chris at Dino

Ken and Tami at Restaurant Eve

Keep 'em coming. They deserve recognition.

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Mounir Safaa at Equinox. Most of the gang at Zaytinya (at least not while they're totally vodka-cranberry slammed). Anyone at Corduroy. Most of the folks at Old Ebbitt. And pretty much everyone Don said.

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Sam Lek at the Town and Country Lounge in the Mayflower is the best in town for an old school drink.

Edited by Sthitch

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I'm so happy about this thread. . . I also want to add Mark O Flahavan from The Raven. He quotes Gatsby, Silas Mariner, invites people to try sister and brother in laws' ribs, and buys back rounds. He's great.

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Arrity @ Palena (again! Although I still miss Jeff)

Krishna at Aroma (no food, but you can bring in takeout from Spices, Indique, Vace, etc.)

Chris at Dino

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From the way back machine, Mike from the Back Bar at the Ebbit. Post-service friend to the old 'Nox crew, the champagne and oyster rounds helped the mood as well

Of course my boy Mounir at the 'Nox

and Tony Allen, even thouygh he is a Dallas Fan

Edited by brendanc

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the bartenders that made my christmas list...

mark and sonja - capital grille

billy and george - cashion's

krishna and billy - aroma

daryl aka durty, kevin, song, laura - bedrock billiards

dirty sarah - felix

anna - the reef

schmitty - childe harold

tracy - charlie palmer's

margaret ann - old ebbitt

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the bartenders that made my christmas list...

mark and sonja - capital grille

billy and george - cashion's

krishna and billy - aroma

daryl aka durty, kevin, song, laura - bedrock billiards

dirty sarah - felix

anna - the reef

schmitty - childe harold

tracy - charlie palmer's

margaret ann - old ebbitt

You really get around!

I think Billy from Cashion's is a gem, as well.

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Here here (hear hear? wow I need another coffee) for Billy at Cashion's and Krish at Aroma. I'll also add Coty at the Reef, Shola at the Tabard, and Chris at the Lucky Bar.

Edited by Connave

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Mark, Tom, Patrick, Sonya, Rachel and Sue all at Capital Grille. They're all phenomenal and so great to spend time with. Plus, they put up with all of my antics (and those of my friends)

John at DC Coast (used to be at Signatures)

Nick (used to be at Signatures, not sure where he landed...if you ever find him, ask him for "The Nick"...makes you feel like you're on a beach with waves and warm sun)

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Billy at the new Clydes at the MCI center. He was at Boulevard Woodgrill but is now day bar at Clydes.

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