Raising the Bar

“You look mahvelous!” I say that with much more sincerity than did Billy Crystal’s Fernando on Saturday Night Live. But, you know what? You really do…look mahvelous. more

Raising the Bar


The Nachos Totopos paired with the Mezcalito at En Su Boca. Photo by Temple Hill

I was walking down Cary Street one recent starlit evening, and I couldn’t help but overhear the lively conversations of diners sitting on the restaurant patios along the way. It was the relaxed, happy sound of folks out on the town, enjoying the... more

Raising the Bar


The Southern Strawberry Tea-quila paired with Southern Comfort rolls, a rendition of an Asian roll stuffed with Southern charm at Southern Kitchen. Photo by Robert Thomas

So, this guy walks into a bar and orders a tequila… You thought this was the lead-in to a joke, didn’t you? Funny thing about tequila. Just mention the word and some folks start laughing. Actually, I’m the guy and both my photographer Robert... more

Raising the Bar


Bruschetta paired with a variation of the French 75 featuring Belle Isle Premium Moonshine at Grandstaff and Stein Booksellers. Photo by Robert Thomas

Having grown up in Franklin County in Southwest Virginia, I was pretty excited when we decided to feature moonshine cocktails in this edition of Raising the Bar. You see, Franklin County is, without a doubt, the moonshine capital of the world. Oh... more

Raising the Bar


The Franklin Inn's Hot Dickens Cider paired with zucchini fries

It was a dark and stormy night. The snow was falling heavily. More than a half-foot was already on the ground. The streets were deserted. Supermarket shelves have been laid bare of milk, eggs, and chocolate chip cookie dough. In other words, it... more

Raising the Bar


Neptune’s Daughter from Comfort. Photo by Miguel Betancourt

Imagine you’re lounging in the middle of nowhere, about an hour outside of Reykjavik, Iceland, in the Silfra Bar, located in the modern ION Luxury Adventure Hotel. As you sip on a cocktail, no doubt made with Reyka Vodka, you gaze out of the floor... more

Raising the Bar


Photo by Robert Thomas

Jerry Thomas, Ada Coleman, and Victor Bergeron – if you recognize the names and know what it is that these folks have in common, then you should be writing this feature rather than reading it. The three are among the most influential bartenders... more

Raising the Bar

What goes around comes around, or so they say. That is certainly true of the trend in the local bar scene. “We've moved past the era of the oddly flavored martinis and into a more spirit-driven cocktail scene,” says John Maher, owner of one of the... more

Raising the Bar

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