Get Ready for Happy Hour!
We are delighted this week to bring you some wonderful cocktails from across the country! If you’ve followed along with us this summer, you’ll know that each week we choose a different food topic and connect with local restaurants. We spoke with some fabulous restaurants and got to know all about their favorite, signature drinks as well as their customers.
To see more photos from these restaurants, please check out our digital magazine over on our virtual library. You can find it on the first shelf and enjoy reading it like you would any digital book!
You’re in for quite a treat and we are so excited to share these great restaurants with you! Enjoy!
Our first restaurant is Casa Verde, located in Boston, Massachusetts. Their fabulous Mexican cuisine is absolutely delicious and their fun atmosphere is a huge asset to their community!
“Casa Verde is Jamaica Plain, Boston’s neighborhood taqueria/tequila bar. We synthesize authentic Mexican dishes with fresh local ingredients in our scratch kitchen to create unique, delicious, fun food that respects Mexico’s rich culinary roots and reflects our local community’s creativity.
We offer an agave spirit-centric full liquor bar w/ amazing margaritas, seasonal craft cocktails and tequilas/mezcals specially chosen for their their flavor, integrity and value. Our wines selections are designed to compliment our fare and our beer list may surprise you!
Our service staff is comprised of knowledgeable, passionate industry professionals who will inspire you to return often. And we’ve implemented a progressive pay structure for our kitchen staff to create opportunity and combat inequality. Stop by 12-10pm daily and check us out!”
The Best Margarita – CV’s top shelf Marg!Passionfruit Marg – fresh fruit Margarita!
Rose Sangria – pineapple, rum, Tripel sec and lime!
Strawberry Banana Marg – fresh fruit Margarita!
Nitro Marg – made in-house with fresh lime and agave, on tap with velvety nitro mouthfeel!
We absolutely love all of these cocktail recommendations – they look beyond amazing! Next time you’re in Boston, you definitely need to stop in at Casa Verde and enjoy their fun and friendly atmosphere and of course, fabulous cocktails!
The Metropolitan Restaurant & Bar
New York, NY
Our next restaurant is the wonderful Metropolitan Restaurant & Bar, a fabulous location that creates a magnificent experience for their customers!
“The Metropolitan Restaurant & Bar, located on the first floor of The Metropolitan Caterers wedding & events venue in Glen Cove, is a new restaurant and bar providing an authentic dining experience which is unique to the area. We aim to give our customers a place to celebrate life; life’s special moments by offering freshly made cuisines using the finest seasonal ingredients, friendly, attentive service & a welcoming presence.”
“Our Executive Chef showcases Contemporary American & European Cuisine with a hint of Latin flair. We also offer a variety of specialty pizzas, a delicious specialty taco selection, elegant small plates including vegan specials & gourmet specialty crafted entrees, not to mention in-house crafted decadent desserts. We also offer a wide variety of classic, & specialty cocktails made by our creative bartenders. Come down & enjoy a specialty cocktail at our Metro Bar, sit in our heated outdoor patio dining area, or take some selfies by our cozy fireplace.”
Hickory Smoked Metropolitan
With Fall on the horizon, we know that we can’t wait to stop in and enjoy the Pumpkin Spice! Can you say ‘delicious?’ Make sure to check out the Metropolitan Restaurant & Bar next time you’re in New York!
The Village Porch
Welcome to The Village Porch, a great, new restaurant and bar that we are so excited to highlight! Their cocktails are out of this world and are a true asset to our Cocktail Tour!
“If you’ve ever watch Cheers, How I Met your Mother, or another show with a neighborhood bar, you’ve likely seen the connection that a location can have in a community. A family-friendly bar can become like a second home. One where you got to celebrate your wins and mourn your losses. One where the bartender knows your name and asks about your recent promotion. Where the server remembers your dog and notices your recent engagement.
George and Jeannie are local to North Asheville and they hoped to bring a location like that to the community. Through a global pandemic, they spent their time building and dreaming about what this place would be. Carefully choosing how it would look and feel. Building a menu they believed would bring joy to their neighbors.”
Welcome to Cocktail Hour at the Village Porch
We’re very excited to introduce you to Travis, the Bar Manager, and give you some incredible insights into how the cocktail menu really came together, and so quickly!
“Our drink options are well rounded in terms of price and variety. Our beer spectrum runs from PBR to local favorites as well as rotating ciders and Ginger’s Revenge (also locally made) ginger beer. Our wine list has a little something for everyone. We have a fully stocked bar that ranges from affordable spirits all the way up to higher-end bourbons and scotches. However, until recently, we were missing something important.. a quality, hand crafted cocktail menu.
Just like the rest of our drink options, we wanted the craft cocktail menu to have something for everyone. If you’re looking for something savory, our “Dirty Porch Martini” with blue cheese stuffed olives or the “Hair of the Dog” bloody mary made with pepper vodka and our house made, spicy bloody mary salt should do the trick.
While designing the cocktail menu, one of my main goals was for the “sweet” cocktails to be delicious (obviously) but not too sweet. I wanted them to be refreshing and easily drinkable. In order to achieve that, instead of heavily relying on syrups and liqueurs, I opted to use things like fresh strawberries, blackberries, lemons, cucumbers, and basil. The drinks I’m highlighting today are the Lemonade Stand, The Blackberry Gin Martini, and The Village Elder.”
The Lemonade Stand
Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka – Fresh Strawberry & Basil. The perfect summer cocktail made year round.
The Lemonade stand is easily our best selling cocktail and a crowd favorite. The strawberry, lemon, and basil flavors all compliment one another very well. This cocktail is extremely balanced, refreshing, and goes down way too easily.
Blackberry Gin Martini
Chemist Gin – Plum Bitters – Fresh Blackberries & Lemon Juice. Complex, fruity flavor with a spiced finish.
This is the cocktail I’m most proud of. I tweaked the recipe a dozen or more times before I got it exactly where I wanted it to be. It appeals to seasoned cocktail-drinking veterans as well as people that “didn’t even know they liked gin.” I’m often told things like “I’ve never been a big gin drinker, but I could drink this all day.” The Chemist is a fantastic and locally made Gin that is very popular in Asheville.
The Village Elder
Ridgemont 1792 Bourbon – Black Walnut Bitters – Bourbon Cocktail Cherry. Our take on a traditional Old Fashioned.
I had to include this on the list because it is my personal favorite cocktail on the menu. I’m a big bourbon guy and a big Old Fashioned guy. When it comes to a classic cocktail like the Old Fashioned, I wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. I just wanted to use a great tasting bourbon that paired well with the Black Walnut Bitters to offer a flavor that was hopefully distinct and unique to our bar. The Village Elder is a little smoky with hints of walnut and maple without being too sweet or overpowering. The bourbon cherries are sublime as well and I have to keep the bar staff (myself included) from eating them like candy. Honestly the best cocktail cherries I’ve had in my life.
We hope you loved The Village Porch as much as we did! It’s amazing to see how locations can transform a community, and they’re doing just that, which we absolutely love!
Introducing Our Guest Blogger, Alexi Contrata!
We are super excited to introduce you to our guest blogger of the week, Alexi Contrata! Her Instagram feed, @The.Luxury.Foodie is amazing and you’ll get hungry just looking at her daily eats! We’re going to turn it over to Alexi now – enjoy!
Where Did Your Food Journey Begin?
“I always had a passion for food when I was a kid and wanted to open my own restaurant, but I knew fulfilling that dream would require a lot of time and money so I turned to food blogging instead. I always took pictures of my food and would post pictures on my own personal instagram and would get so many DMs from people saying that I always ate the best food! My camera roll was filled with food pictures with nowhere to go!
What Inspired You to Start Documenting Your Journey?
I always viewed food as a way to bring people together and that is what really inspired me to start my own food instagram account. I started my food instagram a little over a year ago during the pandemic when I had more personal time. I had amassed hundreds of food pictures and I was so excited to share them with my followers. My content focuses mainly on luxury upscale restaurants. To be honest I have expensive taste when it comes to my food! I view luxury dining as a wholesome experience and enjoy spending money on great food that is high quality. I’m really glad I’m able to share my experience with others as well!”
What’s Been the Best Part About Your Documentation?
“Definitely, showing my content and inspiring others to try certain places! I like to focus on luxury eats because I not only enjoy the experience, but some people might hesitate to spend a lot of money on food and I totally understand that, so I do the work for them! I hope my content gives my followers a better view into the fine dining world!”
This week is all about cocktails, so of course we had to ask Alexi about some recent, great drinks she’s enjoyed! Here’s what she had to say:
“I recently got cocktails at The Capital Grille Steakhouse in Tampa, FL and let me tell you, their famous Stoli Doli cocktail is out of this world! If you love vodka and pineapple it’s the way to go! Another great cocktail was the Moscow Mule with Belvedere vodka!”
Foodie Bucket List
- Rococo Steak in St. Petersburg, FL- I do a lot of traveling and have heard great things about this Steakhouse in particular and the cuisine has a more modern take rather than a traditional steakhouse.
- Donatello in Tampa, FL – I love old school Italian restaurants and Donatello offers that in a more upscale setting. I’m Italian so it’s a must on my bucket list!
We always love to hear where our guest-bloggers have recently enjoyed, so we couldn’t wait to ask Alexi about a favorite, recent dining experience!
“I recently went to Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant in Tampa, FL and I was blown away not only by the food, but the service. Everything was on point! Everything I ordered was absolutely delicious, you have to try their famous asian slaw! The waitress was extremely friendly and did a great job of explaining the menu items. Another plus is that a lot of their wines are made in house. If you have enough room for dessert, try the Reeses cookie skillet!”
Thanks so much for joining us this week Alexi, we loved to have you! If you don’t currently follow Alexi and her fabulous food journey, make sure you do – you won’t be disappointed!
CD Restaurant and Bar
We are super excited to introduce our next restaurant, CD Restaurant and Bar! Their Guyanese/Chinese cuisine is a real, unique treat and anything you get off the menu is WONDERFUL! Enjoy!
“We’re a family restaurant and bar – 4 sisters and we’ve been in business since 2014. Our cuisine is influenced from our country Guyana which is located in South America. We serve Guyanese Chinese cuisines. Our culture and food is highly influenced by the Caribbean/West Indies.
We have a lot of different options of food varieties, from calamari to fried rice, lo mein, chowmein, to wings and so many more.
Our popular cocktails amongst our customers are the CD Drunken Punch which is cream soda, carnation milk, Bacardi and tops off with cinnamon and nutmeg. Adding milk to cream soda has been a popular fun and tasty thing to do in Guyana. Another favorite is our mango mojito and frozen margaritas.”
The unique cuisine is calling our names – we can’t wait to stop in the next time we’re in Queens, and we can’t wait for you to enjoy it at CD Restaurant and Bar as well!
Our next highlighted restaurant, Oniro Taverna is located in Woodbury, New York and they have authentic, Greek cuisine you’re sure to love!
“Oniro Taverna & Lounge is the authentic Greek restaurant that has been a community favorite in Woodbury brings guests a beautiful menu of re-imagined Greek staples by Executive Chef Peter Spyropoulos (Le Cirque and Bouley), who served as the opening Chef of Limani in Roslyn.
A Grecian Experience
The team at Oniro place hospitality at the forefront, while plating inventive and playful dishes to ensnare the senses that will whisk guests away to the Islands of Greece. The Oniro Taverna team’s number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of their patrons to ensure an exceptional experience. Therefore, the team have taken extreme precautions to guarantee the safety of their diners with temperatures checked upon arrival and contact information obtained from each guest for contact tracing. Hand sanitizer and masks are available for guests at all times.
The restaurant space is expansive and bathed in white and earth tones for a true Greek Island vibe with multiple different dining spaces which features comfortable whitewashed wooden tables and cushioned wooden chairs with basket lighting fixtures hung from above. An upstairs private event space with a separate bar provides the optimal location for all special events.”
The beverage program offers a wide selection of Greek wines as well as a number of specialty cocktails such as Ananas, pineapple-infused vodka; Oniro, masticha, tsipouro and pomegranate; and Kalokairi, Hendrick’s gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, basil and cucumber.
We can’t wait to try the Cucumber Cosmo that’s featured above – how amazing does it look?!
Mara’s Southern Kitchen
Next up on our cocktail tour is Mara’s Southern Kitchen, located in Syosset, NY!
“Mara’s Homemade food began at our former establishment, Java N Jazz, in Union Square. While Java N Jazz was a neighborhood hangout, it also provided delicious homemade foods by Mara. We would label anything made by Mara, “Mara’s Homemade…” and that’s when Mara’s Homemade was born. Therefore, it seemed only fitting to name our new restaurant Mara’s Homemade.
On May 26, 2011 the doors opened at the new, larger location in Syosset, Long Island, New York.
Iced fresh mint and sweet teas are made from loose tea leaves. Fresh squeezed lemonade is also served. Seasonally, Mara spices organic fresh Apple Cider and makes homemade Eggnog.”
We are so excited to have the opportunity to feature Mara’s Southern Kitchen and their fabulous cuisine!
Our final restaurant on our Cocktail Tour is the fabulous Sunset Cantina in Boston, Massachusetts. Their gorgeous cocktails are so refreshing and their relaxing atmosphere is a great get-away from the crazy hustle and bustle of daily life. Enjoy!
“Sunset Cantina is a relaxed Mexican restaurant with a huge selection of tequila and mouthwatering food to go with it. it’s your place for great food as well as Thrillist and Food Networks Top 10 best nachos in America, tasty margaritas and unique beers, located in the heart of BU campus right on Commonwealth Avenue.
We offer daily specials as well as live entertainment to students and locals alike with an emphasis on great environment and amazing food and drink. There’s always something to be done at Sunset Cantina whether it’s trivia on Mondays or our DJs and live music Thursday through Saturday or football specials on Sundays as well as other live entertainment specials throughout the week.
We have an amazing bar program with 24 beers on tap and many more and bottle over 100 kinds of tequila and tons of different spirits and all at the best price in the area.”
Classic Dirty Shirley: vodka, lemon-lime soda, And grenadine
The Strawberry Smokeshow: a strawberry infused vodka with fresh lemonade
The Premier: A top shelf margarita wish Fortaleza Blanco tequila Grand Marnier fresh lemon lime and agave
El Diablo: A ghost pepper infused tequila with Cointreau fresh chipotle lemon lime and agave
It was great to get to know Sunset Cantina this week and we are so excited to visit them the next time we’re up in the Boston area! We can’t wait for a bit of relaxation!
The End of a Fabulous Cocktail Tour
Thank you so much for joining us this week on our Fabulous Cocktail Tour! We loved connecting with these wonderful restaurants and cannot wait to try out some more of their incredible cocktails!
We’d love to see what you enjoy when you visit some of these restaurants, so make sure to tag us on Instagram at UBMeFood so we can enjoy it with you (virtually, of course!)
Thank you to everyone who made this edition possible! It was such a joy to experience so many fabulous locations and we can’t wait to continue our food journey next week! As always, if you know a restaurant that is looking to add online ordering to their restaurant, or looking to save money on their existing system, refer them to UBMe! We offer free online ordering and are always welcoming new restaurants into the UBMe Family!
We hope you come back and join us next week! Take care and we hope you enjoy some fabulous eats this weekend!