What was your vision for the Tavern Road bar program when you took over this summer?
Samdo: My vision was pretty simple from day one -- first and foremost, that I wanted to continue my dear friend, the late Ryan Mcgrale's legacy going forward. Chef Louie DiBiccari has been kicking butt from the kitchen side since the first day here -- everyone loved the food. But now I want to put Tavern Road on the list of the world's premier cocktail bar destinations from every perspective, with a hospitality-first ideology.
What's your favorite drink on the menu right now?
Samdo: I'd say No Name Fashioned right now -- it's fall and sweater season! This spirit-forward drink is perfect for this time of the year; it's a savory and tart Old Fashioned involving allspice, Sichuan peppercorns, cherry juice, and Angostura bitter.
You're a master of the creative garnish -- what outlandish topper would you like to experiment with next?
Samdo: Oh wow, that's a tough question! As of now I've pretty much experimented with anything I can think of, but one element I try to keep in mind is to not overdo it. Keep it elegant and fun. Use seasonal herbs and leaves. Oh, yeah, a cute little puppy counts! Just kidding -- just a plastic little puppy toy, or a kitten. I love a good garnish -- it makes my guests so happy. You should see the faces they make when I slide them their elaborately garnished drinks. I love my job.