Shots Shots Shots: Follow These Top Mixologists on Instagram for Better Cocktail Pics

Mixologists of Instagram

Scrolling through your Instagram feed can make you thirsty. That’s because mixologists have flocked to the photo sharing service since it debuted in 2010, using it as a forum to showcase their most striking cocktails, share recipes, and give patrons a virtual peek behind the bar. Here are six top mixologists to follow on Instagram if you’re looking for inspiration on what to drink next.

Melisa Lapido, aka @melis_boozy_cure, of 31 Supper Club, Ormond Beach, Florida

“Garnishing is a passion for me,” says Lapido. “I treat it like adult arts and crafts.”

The results are wow-worthy and usually earn her hundreds of likes. She uses a broad array of techniques to add pop to her potables – from trimming a lemon peel with a ravioli cutter so it becomes lacey to creating unique ice components.

These eye-catching creations have translated into surging bar sales. “It’s amazing how many people come into the bar and tell me they saw something on Instagram that they want me to make,” she says. “Fresh fruit changes daily, so they might not get the exact same thing, but it gives me a sense of their palate.”

Pro Tip: “I like shooting against dark or black backgrounds, because it highlights the colors of the drink.”

Mixologists of Instagram

Rhys Alvarado, aka @rhyseespieces, of Burritt Room + Tavern, San Francisco, California

Rhys Alvarado got on Instagram three years ago to find out what his fellow mixologists were doing and to promote his own work. “If you don’t publicize your stuff, you get lost,” he says. “It’s about keeping the bar relevant in such a dynamic scene with so many openings.”

He has a soft spot for showcasing vintage glassware in his photos, such as antique coupes, Collins glasses with frosted etching, and crystal Old Fashioned tumblers. He’s equally focused on his garnish game, which heavily focuses on fresh fruit. If it’s not perfect, he won’t bother posting the pic. “I saw on a Corona ad the other day featuring a lime with brown edges in it,” he says. “I would be peeved if that was in my Instagram shot.”

Pro Tip: “Don’t post after midnight because no one will see it. I don’t post in the morning either because people aren’t thinking about drinking unless they have a problem. Posting at one or two in the afternoon is great because that’s when people start making plans for the evening.”

Mixologists of Instagram

Jose “Chuck” Rivera, aka @chucktending, of barmini, Washington, D.C.

“Every cocktail is a piece of art,” says Rivera. “People fall in love with a drink visually first.”

To ensure it’s love at first sight, he spends a lot of time working on his garnishes. He aims to use components that are “edible and beautiful,” such as a black olive wrapped in ibérico ham, lavender blossoms, and parsley ice.

Almost every cocktail pic is accompanied by the drink’s recipe because Rivera feels it’s important to share the craft and allow followers to try it at home if they’d like.

Pro Tip: “Playing with colors is really important. I don’t want a red cocktail with a red garnish on a red napkin. That’s too flat. Mix it up.”

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Super Bowls: 7 Winning One-Bowl Dishes for Winter + Beyond

In celebration of the Bowl that’s going down in the Bay Area this weekend, let’s dish about bowls — not plates — of oodles of noodles and other well-rounded meals. These 7 spots will bowl you over with one-bowl dishes highlighting warm ramen noodles, chilled spicy noodles, rice, and more. And, if your favorite team didn’t make it to the big game, consider these bowls to be warm culinary consolation hugs, too. 

The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck, Grand Rapids, Michigan
A cold-weather hotspot in The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, eight of the 10 appetizers on the menu are served in bowls, as well as all of the pasta dishes and most of the sides. “I personally love to serve dishes in bowls,” says chef Austin Gresham. “If I build a dish in the center of the bowl, the guest is forced to draw the food from the center of the bowl against the wall of the dish. That forces them to enjoy the dish exactly how I want them to. Much better than a ‘decomposed’ plating strategy, where parts of the dish are spread out and guests are able to enjoy components of dishes separately. This could potentially take away from the whole experience of a dish, like a bite of steak without the sauce.” Noodle dishes include Chicken lo Mein — egg noodles, bean sprouts, bok choy, oyster sauce and soy. And there’s Pad Thai on the menu, too — scallops, shrimp, scallions, mint, and peanut sauce. Make a reservation at The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck.

One-bowl dishes

Bubu-Lowry, Denver, Colorado
The Denver Broncos are going to the Super Bowl! You’re not! But … you can to go Bubu-Lowry, where the Chicken Thigh Ramen Bowl with Swiss chard, edamame, pickled fennel, peppers, ginger, and chicken broth is a crowd pleaser. Feeling creative at half time? You can opt to make your own bubu bowl creations. A win-win, for sure. Make a reservation at Bubu-Lowry.

One-bowl dishes

Momofuku CCDC, Washington, D.C.
The mother of all bowls, David Chang’s Momofuku gives a noodle nod to D.C. with its first U.S. capital location in City Center. There are rice and noodle bowls aplenty to cheer for including Momofuku Beef Noodle Soup, which features brisket, baby bok choy, and black pepper. Spice it up with the Chilled Spicy Noodles with Szechuan sausage, spinach, and candied cashews. Or tackle the Ginger Scallion Noodles, rich with pickled shiitake, cucumber, cabbage. Make a reservation at Momofuku CCDC.

One-Bowl Dishes

Il Palio, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Chef Teddy Diggs will serve his pasta “super bowls” as a nod to football’s biggest day. He’s teamed his authentic Italian recipes with playful ingredients to produce winning dishes, such as duck egg carbonara and hay-smoked potato gnocchi infused with wood smoke (the smoky flavors of the grill are infused into the pasta). Andiamo! Make a reservation at Il Palio.

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Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs 2015: Book a Table

Food & Wine magazine recently announced its annual roster of Best New Chefs of 2015. The honorees represent chefs who have been running a kitchen for less than five years and who are winning fans and attention in their culinary communities. A few commonalities among the winners, according to Food & Wine Editor in Chief Dana Cowin, include nods to the past and a highly personal aspect to their cooking. “The chefs seem to be cooking to please themselves, and in the process have dazzled diners,” Cowin told CNN. The standout chefs include:

Chef Zoi Antonitsas, Westward, Seattle, Washington

Résumé: Chef Antonitsas may be familiar to diners outside the Seattle area because of her turn as a cheftestant on season 4 of Top Chef. Formerly the executive chef at Madison Park Conservatory in Seattle, Antonitsas worked at  Zazu Kitchen + Farm in Sebastapol, and the Presidio Social Club in San Francisco before opening Westward in the fall of 2013 and bringing her unique blend of Mediterranean-meets-Pacific Northwest cuisine to the shores of Lake Union. She also served as a consultant for nopa.
Rave review for her food: “The food — ah! The food was amazing! I loved that everything was so simple, yet so delicious — how food should be. The presentation was impeccable.”
Book a table!

PFE - chef katie button panuelo de chocolate - 5.2011Chef Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, North Carolina

Résumé: Scientist-cum-chef Button opened Cúrate in 2011 after mastering her culinary craft at Spain’s legendary El Bulli. Later stints include Jean-Georges in New York and The Bazaar by José Andrés in Beverly Hills. She also opened the bar Nightbell, and is penning her first cookbook. Cúrate has been named a Top 100 Best Restaurant in America in 2013 and a Top 100 Fit for Foodies Restaurant in 2014 by OpenTable diners.
Rave review for her food: “The quality of the food was outstanding. I have been to Spain multiple times and this was like being there, from the food to the wine to the unhurried pace of the meal.”
Reserve a table!

Chef Jim Christiansen, Heyday, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Résumé: His experience may be primarily rooted in the midwest, but chef Christiansen found his inspiration abroad as well, namely in the cuisine of Copenhagen’s renowned noma, at which he staged. After spending time in the kitchens of La Belle Vie and UNION Rooftop Restaurant in the Twin Cities, Christiansen opened Heyday to acclaim in April 2014.
Rave review for his food: “The kitchen obviously knows their stuff and the chef is inspired from start to finish. With baked goods done in house, everything is super fresh and innovative without being inaccessible. We were so happy with our food and our server; it couldn’t have been better.”
Reserve a table!

Chef Tim Maslow, Ribelle, Boston, Massachusetts

Résumé: Chef Maslow is well known to Boston foodies, having first wowed diners when he revamped the menu at his father Paul’s aging Watertown restaurant Strip-T’s. Previously, he honed his skills within the Momofuku family of restaurants in Manhattan, rising to chef de cuisine of Momofuku Ssam Bar. He opened Ribelle in March of 2013 and received four stars from the Boston Globe a little more than half a year later.
Rave review for his food: “Whenever I get a chance to stop by Ribelle, I again realize that Tim is at the very top of the list of the best chefs in the Boston area. As a foodie, I love this place.”
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On Our Plate: Save on Taste of the Nation Tickets in LA + MSP; Grilled Romaine Lettuce; Portland Restaurant Month + More

Taste of the Nation Minneapolis HOTList is one of the hottest events happening this month in the Twin Cities.

Happenings on and around OpenTable…

* Save 10% on tickets to Taste of the Nation in Los Angeles on June 9th. Click thru for exclusive discount code.

* Save $5 on tickets to Taste of the Nation Minneapolis HOTlist in the Twin Cities on June 10th. Click thru for exclusive discount code.

* Palm Springs Desert Resort Restaurant Week reservations are live. Reserve to enjoy special $26 or $38 dinners, May 31-June 16.

* Dine About Town San Francisco is almost here. Book now for $18.95 two-course lunches and $36.95 three-course dinners, June 1-15Continue Reading