The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 125 of 132

A bar with the name Smuggler's Cove immediately invokes images of pirates, waterfalls and tiki drinks, and of course when you enter this San Francisco bar you are immediately confronted with a waterfall and a delightful tiki menu. Lead barman Marcovaldo Dionysos has a way of making you part of the tropical atmosphere by serving you a delicious cocktail with an infectious smile that instantly makes you feel relaxed. Marco is a natural host to his guests. With his smart wit and warm heart he transports you from San Fran to island time. Bridget Albert: What is your approach to hospitality at Smugglers Cove? Marco Dionysos: Friendly service with plenty of aloha. BA: What do you enjoy most about your gig? Marco: Exotic cocktails are every bit as serious as Prohibition-era classics, but with an undeniable element of fun. It's hard not to smile with a parasol in your drink. The fast pace suits my bartending style and allows me to tap into the ancient Polynesian martial art of Mai Tai Chi. BA: Where do you go for a cocktail? And what is it about their guest service that brings you back? Marco: Jasper's. Several of San Francisco's best bartenders work there, and the vibe is friendly and casual, but polished. BA: Who is one of your regulars and why do you look forward to their visit? Marco: There are a couple guys, Jeff and Phil, who come in nearly every Friday right when we open. Both are Guardians of the Cove, having sampled over 100 rums, and approaching 200. Their friendliness and good energy is a nice way to start what can be a crazy night. BA: What is your personal philosophy when it comes to guest service? Marco: I try to gauge whether someone wants to talk or be entertained, or left alone. BA: What is the most important advice that you can give to bartenders just getting started in their careers? Marco: Try to work in bars with different styles. It makes you more of a well- rounded bartender. BA: What makes a great barback and why are they important to the bartender and to the overall guest experience? Marco: Great barbacks are so ahead of the game that they know what you need before you do. This level of intuition allows the whole operation to fl ow more smoothly, and for the bartender to focus on the guest. BA: Name three things that people who are not bartenders don't know or under- stand about the man behind the bar. Marco: I'm not an actor between gigs—this is what I do. I'd rather make you a drink you enjoy than something I enjoy making. I'm not trying to eavesdrop, but I can hear everything you're saying. july 2012 / the tasting panel / 125 Marcovaldo Dionysos is the lead barman at Smuggler's Cove. Humuhumunukunukuapua'a This cocktail is named for the reef triggerfi sh, the offi cial fi sh of the state of Hawaii. Its name is supposedly the longest word in the Hawaiian language. ◗ 2 oz. Plymouth Gin ◗ ¾ oz. lemon juice ◗ ¾ oz. pineapple juice ◗ ½ oz. orgeat ◗ 2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters ◗ Shake well with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with brandied cherries.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - JULY 2012