The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2014

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50  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2014 WHAT'S SHAKIN' W ith a hand-written menu that looks like a multitasker's to-do list, The Catbird Seat is one of Nashville's hottest culinary tickets. Beverage Director Adam Binder, who grew up helping his caterer mom in Chicago, originally came to Nashville to pursue music, but he quickly changed his tune as he developed a passion for wine. As Binder continues his formal training with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and Guild of Master Sommeliers programs, his inspired pairings complement the modern and unexpected bites from Chef Trevor Moran's evolving tasting menus. We say, "Meow!" A speakeasy vibe prevails at The Patterson House, named for Tennessee governor Malcom R. Patterson, who tried (unsuccessfully) to veto statewide Prohibition in the early 1900s. Manager Doug Monroe and his team of bartenders run the bar program at this star-magnet establishment, where the cocktails flow as copiously as tears in a country and western ballad. Monroe specializes in the classics, meticulously crafting each cocktail with housemade syrups, juices and bitters, while also creating originals for the seasonally chang- ing menu. Drawing inspiration from iconic cocktail books, Monroe delivers fancifully named drinks that not only satisfy the palate but tell a story and ignite conversation. We're all ears. At Nashville's first alter- native social club, Pinewood Social, Beverage Director Matt Tocco's cocktail menu is outfitted with an ever-chang- ing selection of classic drinks that mirror the all-American focus of the new concept. As at The Patterson House, where he got his behind- the-bar start, Tocco here uses artisanal spirits and housemade bitters, syrups and juices—and his "rocks" are hand-chiseled from a 300-pound block of Clinebell ice. How cool is that? Located in the heart of Nashville, historic Merchant's Restaurant has three distinct spaces: a casual bistro with specialty cock- tails on the first floor, upscale dining with a modern wine list on the second floor and a private event space on the third floor. Andy Wedge—whose career has ranged from a first gig as a busboy to craft beer enthusi- ast to becoming a certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers—serves as Beverage Director, responsible for every aspect of the beverage experience, from offering unique non-alcoholic beverages to creating adventuresome cocktails to maintaining the global wine list. We'll buy that! —David Gadd Music City, Beverage Town FOUR WINE AND SPIRITS GURUS FROM STRATEGIC HOSPITALITY HELP PUT NASHVILLE ON CENTER STAGE PHOTO COURTESY OF STRATEGIC HOSPITALITY PHOTO: JEFF STAMPER PHOTO COURTESY OF STRATEGIC HOSPITALITY PHOTO COURTESY OF STRATEGIC HOSPITALITY Adam Binder. Doug Monroe hard at work. The Botanist cocktail at Merchant's Restaurant. Matt Tocco behind the bar. WHAT VODKA SHOULD BE. HANDCRAFTED. ALL NATURAL. AÇAÍ. AMAZING TASTE. DISCOVER MORE AT VEEVLIFE.COM DRINK BETTER. DRINK RESPONSIBLY. ©2014 VEEV® 35% ACL/VOL (70 PROOF). PRODUCED & BOTTLED FOR VEEV SPIRITS, LOS ANGELES, CA Introducing the all-new and more versatile 70 proof VEEV ® . It makes all your favorite cocktails better and is amazing just on the rocks (Sorry Vodka). Try #abetterwaytodrink. now70proof veev.4.21.tasting.panel.indd 1 4/21/14 11:31 AM TP0514_034-71.indd 50 4/24/14 11:03 PM

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