by Paloma Ianes
Posted In: Alcohol
at 02:23 PM | Permalink
A Tavola's Aaron Strasser shares his favorite cocktails
A Tavola has
made its mark on Over-The-Rhine with its rustic wood fired pizzas and superb
flavor combinations. What you might not know about the high-end pizza joint is
that its craft cocktails are one-of-a-kind. CityBeat
sat down with A Tavola’s head bartender Aaron Strasser to pick his brain, and
it turns out he is as personable as he is creative and stirs up one hell of a
CityBeat: How did your career in bartending
Strasser: I was a
history major at UC, and my favorite period of time was Prohibition. I found it
very interesting that you could ban one of the greatest things in the world —
the cocktail. I really got into studying that when I was in college. I also
started flavor profiles. I grew up in the kitchen with my mom and she always
baking stuff and I loved tasting all the flavors and figuring out, ‘Oh, you can
pair this with this.’ I got my start here at A Tavola almost four years ago. I
didn't know much, but what I did know is flavor profiles and combinations. So
the owners gave me a chance and allowed me to make the bar what it is now.
CB: What’s your favorite spirit?
AS: I usually go with my whiskeys and
bourbon. Rye whiskey for sure.
CB: What’s the strangest
ingredient you’ve used in a cocktail?
AS: I have a couple. I always saw that
simple syrups were being made with fruits and some herbs and spices, but I
wanted to make a simple syrup out of a vegetable, so I made a red beet and
ginger simple syrup, which goes great with gin. It’s very unique, it’s a
beautiful color and the taste was very interesting. I didn't want to just use
fruit. Another strange ingredient in our new cocktail menu is the jalapeño jam
instead of a simple syrup. It’s a recipe that one of my kitchen people and I
have worked on. I wanted to have something that was sweet and savory. We do a
lot of that as far as combinations go — even in our food — lots of sweet and
CB: Do you see a change in
cocktail culture around OTR?
AS: Oh, yeah, its definitely growing.
There is a lot more appreciation as far as drinks go. A lot of people are not
just ordering cocktails that they know, instead they are actually looking at
the cocktails and asking, ‘What does this place have to offer that I haven’t
CB: If you had to pick one
cocktail to drink for the rest of your life what would it be?
AS: An Old Fashioned.
cherries1 slice of
orange1 sugar cube1 or 2 dashes of
Angostura bitters2 oz. rye or
bourbon whiskeyClub soda
Place the sugar
cube in a glass and add one or two dashes of Angostura bitters and a splash of
club soda. Muddle the the sugar cube. Add whiskey and ice. Stir until sugar is
dissolved. With a lighter, singe a strip of orange peel and pinch the peel to
release oils. Add the orange peel and the Amarena cherries to top it all off.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 3, 2013
One of Over-the-Rhine’s most popular
destinations, A Tavola (1220 Vine St.), is opening a second location in
Madeira. The new shop, at 7022 Miami Road, will open in December. I
think it’s great that the center of the city has so much goodness going
on that we can export it to the ’burbs.
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Greatest Event in Television History,
the 15-minute special on Adult Swim in which Jon Hamm and Adam Scott remade the intro to ‘80s detective series Simon & Simon, shot-by-shot? If not, watch the clip here, and stick around after the credits for the original theme song to
truly appreciate the attention to detail.
Well, as you’ll
hear from impeccable host Jeff Probst in the clip below, he lied to us last year. It wasn’t the greatest event in television history. THIS IS:
That's right, Adam Scott and Amy
Poehler (with help from Horatio Sans) recreated the beginning credits to Hart to Hart, another ‘80s detective drama.
Here’s the original:
If your significant other suddenly begins
behaving differently — working late hours, cancelling plans, hanging out with
new people you’ve never met, being secretive — there’s a possibility he or she
may be cheating on you. You have two options: confront your loved one with
honesty and concern and try to repair your relationship or call Cheaters.
Now in its 13th season, Cheaters really is one of those bottom-of-the-barrel shows.First of
all, Spoiler Alert: Yes, they’re cheating on you. No one’s paying a camera crew
to document some anticlimactic shit. Secondly, people (myself included)
actually watch these public, messy splits as entertainment! Who would sign up
For those classier than I who’ve never seen
the show, here’s the gist: Cheaters sends
a surveillance crew to investigate a suspicious complaintant’s partner. After a
few days of “detective work,” the show’s host brings the evidence to the
complaintant and offers them the chance to confront the cheater (generally in a
very public and/or embarrassing situation). Of course, they do. Madness ensues.
Cheaters’ longtime host Joey Greco rose to iconic status
when, during the confrontation of a woman’s cheating boyfriend, he was stabbed
in the gut by the fleeing boyfriend. Later evidence suggests the stabbing might
have been staged, but Greco will forever go down in reality TV infamy as the man who would take
a knife to reunite a woman with the man who cheated on her…or something. Sadly,
Greco stepped down as host in 2012, a fact I was not aware of until this
weekend when I caught the show during some late-night channel surfing. It turns
out Grecs has been replaced by a younger host with a certain L.A. coke
junkie dead-eyed je ne sais quoi. Something about him screams, "I've got roofies in my pocket, and I'm not afraid to use them."After a few scenes, it was reveled this
fresh meat’s name was none other than Clark Gable. At first I figured this dude
was taking notes from porn star James Deen or countless other celebrity
hopefuls who simply borrow a Hollywood icon’s name. But no. Gone With The Wind’s Clark Gable had a
grandson and that guy is hosting Cheaters.
(Thankfully, the show’s wordsmith of a narrator lives on.) According to Gable
III’s Cheaters bio, he is a
model/actor who also enjoys surfing, racing dirt bikes and volunteering with
charities. According to IMDB, his only completed acting credit is a 2001 movie, Ordinary Madness,
in which he played "Skateboard Kid.” For some reason, the bio neglects to mention
that, like his Cheaters predecessor, Gable also has experience with knife fights — Gable was stabbed at an L.A. house
party in 2008.
Ever had a totally insufferable coworker, a
person whose mere presence awakens your most inner demons? Imagine having to make
cheery smalltalk with the bitch on television.
Since apparently we Americans couldn’t quite
get it right,
BBC is making a new Elizabeth Taylor film, Burton
starring Helena Bonham Carter as Liz and Dominic West and Richard Burton. But
you won't find Lifetime, the network behind that Lohan monstrosity, playing the whole “coulda, shoulda, woulda” game,
because they’re on to the next one: Anna Nicole Smith, to be precise.
Lifetime actually was smart about this one —
by making a movie about a star like Anna Nicole, you don’t need to worry about
casting a star that can actually act. Though she does have the sedated baby
voice down to a T. And who knew people popped pills in their cocktails like
Alka-Seltzers? I’m just happy/terrified the clown face makes an appearance.
Hey, want to see Daft Punk without their
HBO’s Girls will likely have a long
shelf-life, but 38 seasons? Writer/Producer/Director Gail Lerner looks into the
future of Lena Dunham's painfully hip lost girls with this hilarious parody. Via Nylon:
Now it’s time for:
Hold Up, Y’all, Cincinnati’s On the TV!
Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible will be filming
at Aponte’s Pizzeria in Mason this Wednesday-Thursday. On the
series, the beefy Brit Chef Robert Irvine offers business advice, new recipes
and $10,000 in renovations to struggling restaurants. Aponte’s 2.0 will
re-launch to a fully-booked house Thursday evening.
And, while not on
television, A Tavola’s tricked-out pizza oven was named one of America’s
“coolest” by Food and Wine magazine. See a full slideshow here.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: TV/Celebrity
at 12:15 PM | Permalink
The remaking and
re-imagining of classic films and TV shows is often met with high expectations
and harsh reviews. Despite this, I was really looking forward to A&E’s new
horror-drama, Bates Motel. Something
of a warped prequel to Psycho, the
thriller places a young Norman Bates and his mother Norma in charge of a
previously foreclosed motel in a contemporary setting. With the swoon-worthy
Vera Farmiga (big sis to American Horror
Story’s Violet, Taissa Farmiga) starring as the mother to the future sociopath
(who is portrayed by creepy-yet-cute Freddie Highmore), I really thought it was going to be
awesome. It wasn’t. Check out my full reaction in this week’s TV column.
I know I should
have lowered my expectations — prequels generally suck — but I was really
pulling for this one. Sadly, I’ve felt more suspense in an episode of A&E’s
Intervention that in this show where
multiple people were murdered in the premiere. Dammit, Bates Motel, I was rooting for you!
recommendation site Urbanspoon recently listed the most buzzed about
bar-n-grills across America and Cincinnati topped the list with seven restaurant-bar mentions
— matched only by Chicago, New Orleans and St. Louis. The restaurants
include A Tavola, Adriatico's Pizza, Bakersfield OTR, Nada, Senate, Taste of
Belgium Bistro and Terry’s Turf Club. With Covington’s Wunderbar bringing the
local count up to eight, it looks like Greater Cincinnati is the place to go
for beers and bites!
Usually when my
mom shares with me something she found on the Internet, it’s either a pug photo
shoot on YouTube or an MSN slideshow of inappropriate advertisements, but
recently she sent me something even
better. Check out this informational North Korean documentary footage of
Ah, America: Where
there aren’t any birds, except for the ones we all ate yesterday. Just a
reminder, next time you order your snow coffee, make sure to ask if it’s
Thanks for the cake, North Korea!
So the Catholics
got a new pope last week. Remember: There’s always money in the Vatican!
Usually when I
hear “Satan” and “Obama” in the sentence, I quickly tune out whichever Fox News
zombie or disgruntled family member is ranting, but this week the two were
compared for a new reason. The History Channel’s incredibly factual miniseries The Bible obviously features the devil,
an important supporting character from the original masterpiece, but some
people are upset about the resemblance to our president. Check it out for yourself here.
The Princess Bride is a classic, but
what if little Fred Savage’s grandpa gave him another book instead?
If the kid hated
all that kissing in PB, I can only
imagine what he’d think of GOT’s uh, adult scenes.Hey remember my American Horror Story Season Three guesses? AHS: Coven = confirmed. Witches! Squee!
The renaissance of the Gateway Quarter hearkens a celebrated history
1 Comment · Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The Gateway Quarter should have its own zip code: Four Five Two Oh, Oh, Oh! Located in the south central area of
Over-the-Rhine, during the past few years the Gateway has become a
dining mecca. It’s home to some of the hippest new eateries in town,
with rampant buzz amongst the Twitterati and lines out the doors on
by Danny Cross
Topic Design, A Tavola and dojo gelato among winners
Chamber of Commerce today announced the winners of its annual Star Awards,
which recognize organizations and individuals whose outstanding accomplishments
contribute to the revitalization of its five distinct neighborhoods: Washington
Park, Mohawk, Central, Pendleton and Findlay Market.
This year’s award
Chairman’s Award: Cincinnati Center City
Development Corporation (3cdc.org)
Norma Petersen Award: Topic Design (www.topicdesign.com)
New Business of the
Tavola (1220 Vine St.; here’s a link to a recent
CityBeat review of the modern and stylish pizza place.)
Business of the Year: dojo gelato (Findlay
Non Profit Organization
of the Year:
Crossroad Health Center (crossroadhc.org)
Cook, First Lutheran/OTR Learning Center (www.firstlutherancincy.org/learning_center.html)
Special Recognition: Captain Douglas Wiesman, Cincinnati Police
Recipients will be
honored at the OTR Chamber’s annual meeting and luncheon March 20 at Music
A stellar addition to Over-the-Rhine
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Pizza is America’s favorite food. It attracts almost everyone and offers so many possibilities in terms of toppings, crust and preparation. Most pizza places are content to be mundane, and many of those that strive for greatness sadly fall short. Despite the arguments over thick crust vs. thin crust or traditional toppings vs. gourmet toppings, we're always looking for a great new pizza place.