Madame Barfly: Mix It Up, Take a Shot
Mar03

Madame Barfly: Mix It Up, Take a Shot

Shots cut to the chase. Whether you need some quick courage for that karaoke performance or don’t want a drink that sloshes on your dancing shoes, shots are great when you want to get that buzz rolling in one fell shoot. So, why not make it delicious? When it comes to shots, many — myself included — have been known to simply go for the hard stuff, straight up. But mixed shots can be fun, and absolutely delicious, when the moment calls...

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Dive! Five unpolished gems with cheap drinks and charm to spare.
Mar03

Dive! Five unpolished gems with cheap drinks and charm to spare.

Everyone has a favorite dive bar; a place you can go in your old jeans and sweater, have a beer for under $3 and watch some “Wheel of Fortune” with townies looking to unwind. Dive bars — and we use the term lovingly — tend to be physically and metaphysically secluded. Signs are minimal and the website, if it even exists, barely functions. The good ones are tucked away like unpolished backstreet gems. Last week, Advocate writers took...

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Scene Here: Breakfast pie
Feb25

Scene Here: Breakfast pie

Hunter Styles photo

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Raise Your Glass: Thanks! Tip Yields Excellent Spanish Red
Feb25

Raise Your Glass: Thanks! Tip Yields Excellent Spanish Red

Evodia, Spain Old Vine Garnacha, 2013 $7.89 to $11.99 Over the last year or so, I had been noticing Evodia, a Spanish red wine with a distinctive bluish-purple label, on the shelves of the area’s wine stores, but I hadn’t tried it. For some reason, I hadn’t even given it much thought until my friend Marlene Osteen suggested I might like it. Osteen and her husband, Louis, have been in the fine dining restaurant business in South...

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Dishing on Dishes: The stories behind five Valley signature plates
Feb18

Dishing on Dishes: The stories behind five Valley signature plates

Coco & The Cellar Bar Easthampton The dish: Buttermilk Fried Chicken Simple is best Fried chicken may seem an odd fit for a gourmet menu, but Coco’s co-owners, cooks — and husband and wife — Roger Taylor and Unmi Abkin have embraced its simple pleasures. Discussing Coco’s menu with a new customer usually begins with the fried chicken, Taylor says. “There are no special spices, no secret flour. No tricks. We believe the simple...

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Beerhunter: Lager Gets Crafty
Feb18

Beerhunter: Lager Gets Crafty

In the warm, bright tasting room of Fort Hill Brewery in Easthampton, my friend took a sip from a sample glass and frowned. He took another and made the same face. “It’s a lager,” I said. “They’re all lagers here.” He looked surprised. Then he finished his drink and nodded. “It’s good.” What just happened here? Well, two things. For one, the American craft brewing scene is all about the ales, not lagers. This is why, when my friend...

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