Riviera 31, the cocktail lounge at Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, recently had a swank makeover, to offer what’s described as a “sensual baroque take on flowers and their mystery and elegance.” Now guests can sink into deep ruby red and blue velvet sofas under the gold Rococo ceiling and flattering hushed lighting. To complement the redesign, a new cocktail menu has been ushered it, featuring drinks that play off their surroundings. Among them, this striking take on the martini.
These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to email@example.com.
Susie Scott was recently hired to be the restaurant manager of the Carillon in Austin, Texas.
1. What are you looking forward to in your new role as the restaurant manager of The Carillon?
This singular cocktail, created by Chris Burmeister, lead bartender at Outpost (the restaurant at The Goodland hotel in Santa Barbara), was inspired by one its ingredients, Avua Amburana Cachaca—a distilled Brazilian spirit made from fresh sugarcane juice. The ageing of the amburana wood of the cachaça releases intoxicating notes of cinnamon and baking spice. Burmeister wanted to highlight those flavors. He decided to do a riff on a milk punch, using the masala chai syrup as a sweetener to complement the cachaça.
It’s not too early to start thinking about holiday gifts. One that you’ll want to keep on your radar is the three-bottle gift pack of grape-based mixers from Stolen Fruit. The Sonoma-based company launched just a few months ago with five different alcohol-free blends, for both cocktails and mocktails, made with a blend of verjus—the fresh-pressed juice from green grapes—varietal grape juice and grape skins. The holiday pack ($54) includes Lemongrass Ginger Sauvignon Blanc; Blood Orange Muscat; and Hibiscus Grenache.
Stone Brewery, the 10th largest craft brewery in the U.S., is teaming up with United Hospitality to open the first-ever brewery hotel in San Diego. Stone Hotel aims to open in early 2018 and will offer an all-inclusive experience for the craft-beer obsessed.
Guests of the hotel will be able to enjoy all aspects of the brewery experience from start to finish. Greg Koch and Steve Wagner founded the brewery in 1996 and have worked to grow the craft beer industry.
Redbird, located in a downtown LA space that used to be the rectory of a former cathedral (which also houses the stunning event venue Vibiana), offers a cocktail program inspired by vintage cocktail books. The Bird of Paradise is a close play on a recipe from the 1939 compendium A Gentleman’s Companion by Charles H. Baker Jr.
—1.5 oz. gin
—.75 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
—.75 oz. raspberry syrup
—one egg white
—.5 oz. cream
—dash of orange blossom water
Every year, Richard Sandoval’s La Sandia, a modern Mexican restaurant in the open-air Santa Monica Place, hosts a six-week guacamole festival that highlights regional flavors. To come up with the ingredients, corporate executive chef Patrick Maxey of Richard Sandoval Restaurants and Manny Flores, Sandia’s director of operations, tour Mexico City, Toluca, Oaxaca and the Riviera Maya. They also select one ingredient to feature in a festival cocktail. "This year we chose kiwi, which is used in the Baja guacamole because it’s naturally sweet, bitter and sour all in one punch," Flores says.