The Fussy Bride

Yeah yeah, I know….I haven’t written in a really long time!

Life may have been getting in the way of my blogging, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been out and about eating and drinking to my hearts content. Trust me, I definitely have!  There will be posts coming shortly on these places, but bare with me in the next few months.

For those fussy readers who don’t know me personally, I should let you know that I recently got engaged (YAY!) to my Beverage Director fiance who is usually mentioned on here as FutureGreg.

Wedding planning is extremely time consuming, but I am having the most incredible fun with it all.  To keep my readers in the loop, I thought it would be nice to put up the two Punch recipes that we provided at our recent Engagement party.  They were such a success, we intend on having them again at the wedding itself. Greg came up with both recipes, although I take credit for their wonderful names. :)

Image from stylemewhimsy.com

Image from stylemewhimsy.com

The Drunken Bride

  • 750ml No.3 Gin
  • 300ml fresh lemon juice
  • 300ml simple syrup
  • 100ml strawberry juice
  • 100ml cucumber juice
  • 200ml soda water

Serve in a Punch bowl over large ice cube.

Serves approx 14. Double ingredients (like we did) to serve more, obviously!

This punch was a HUGE success at the party. It’s refreshing, fruity and delightful as a summer drink. Greg made this on the sweeter side for me, and was designed with the girls in mind. Beautifully balanced and reminded me of a Strawberry lemonade. Easy to drink and even easier to get tipsy on!

Oaxocan Down the Aisle

  • 750ml Yorkshire Tea infused Mezcal Ilegal    (20 minute cold brew with 4 tea bags)
  • 300ml lemon juice
  • 300ml runny honey (2parts colver honey: 1 part filtered water)

Served over large ice cube. Serves 14

For those who don’t understand the humor in this name, Oaxacan is pronounced (wa-ha-ken) and is the name of the people from Oaxaca, Mexico.  It was created to pair my ‘British side’ (the English Tea infusion) with Greg’s Mexican side (Mezcal). 

Yorkshire Tea Bags +ilegal_mezcal_joven

This Punch was deliciously smoky with an interesting twist from the yorkshire tea, that I felt gave an almost creamy element to the drink and softened the Mezcal. I originally didn’t think the flavor pairings would work when FutureGreg suggested it, but it came out perfectly. Really delicious and original flavors.

Anyway, that’s all for now! Here is a photo of us at our Engagement party with delicious Sprinkles cupcakes.

Sprinkles

Enjoy!

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The ART of drinking!

Today I feel compelled to talk about a wonderful  member of the drinking industry in Los Angeles.

No, he is not a bartender, beverage director or blogger… he is an artist. One I have mentioned in the past, but have reason to bring up again today. I am talking about Matt Talbert.

Matt is an artist from Southern California who currently resides in LA with his lovely wife Ashley and gorgeous new baby Luke.

I have always loved art, both viewing the works of others and also creating my own. My mother is an artist, and most of my family is creative in one way or another.  It’s because of this I feel I have an appreciation for artistic skill that not everyone seems to share and seeing as truly great artists are few and far between these days, I believe the great ones need to be acknowledged because they are a vital part of any community.

Jason Schiffer

Matt Talbert is an exceptionally talented artist, in his own right, but he has made it to my food and drink blog because of his incredible skills in being able to capture bar images. He has painted a number of relevant bartenders in the LA scene, including Aidan Demarest, Mindy Kucan and Jason Schiffer…. to name a few.  The detail in which he captures facial expressions is wonderful, but his works of glassware and alcohol are my particular favorites.  I love how he captures glass and fluids so realistically. Flaming Mai Tai

I bought one of his pieces last year entitled “Double Strained” (which is the pink drink in the series of images below) I still adore this painting, however I wanted to show off my most recent purchase of his work.

Matt's work

Matt created the oil painting (below) of my boyfriend, Beverage director and bar man Greg Bryson, and myself (complete with the FussyOne Clover Club) in April this year. I love it so much that I felt the need to show all my followers too! For those who know him, he has captured Greg perfectly (the intense concentration when shaking is a definite Greg feature) and my loving gaze as I watch the love of my life work, many would say is pretty accurate too!Futuregreg and the fussy one

Matt is an artist I am always willing to talk about. The more works he creates the more impressed I am. Check out his other paintings (not just cocktail themed) at his website www.talbertart.com.

I believe Matt is on his way to being a World wide success and if you have the opportunity to buy one of his works whilst they’re still affordable… I say, do it!

Matt with his work!

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Drink of the Week

Hotel NacionalHotel Nacional

  • 1 1/2oz Rum
  • 3/4oz Pineapple Juice
  • 3/4oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4oz Simple Syrup
  • 1/2oz Apricot Brandy

Shake in ice and strain in to a coupe.

No Garnish


Hello my Fussy followers! I know I haven’t written in quite a while, but sadly life simply got in the way of my writing.  Trips to Hawaii, San Francisco and Disney Land have been among my most recent endeavors so I have struggled to find time to document and write about cocktails etc (it’s a hard life, but someones got to do it!)

My parents are currently in LA from England and I have been out showing them all the great places to drink and eat in this town.  It has reminded me of a number of drinks I wanted to share with you all.  I have recently started to enjoy Tiki drinks in particular, and although the above drink isn’t particularly of this genre, it definitely has a little bit of a tiki vibe with the rum and pineapple.

Today is Mothers Day in America so I thought I would put up a drink I feel most mothers would enjoy. Plus it’s a really easy recipe to execute at home.

I have had this drink a few times in the past 2 months at Short Order next to The Grove shopping center.  I will undoubtedly be writing a post on them soon, seeing as their food is also fantastic (their Mac and cheese is divine).  The above recipe is perfect for the coming summer months, because it is pleasantly sweet and refreshing.

Take note, this is VERY easy to drink, almost like lemonade and if you’re not watching yourself you can get buzzed pretty quickly. (I am talking from experience of course!)

Anyway here is a nice simple recipe that is easy to make for your mom/mum today. Enjoy.

Happy Mothers Day!

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Drink of the Week

Charoset SourCharoset Sour

  • 2oz CachaÇa Germana
  • 3/4oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4oz Simple Syrup
  • 4 Dashes Orange blossom water
  • 1 Egg white

Garnish: Dash of Miracle Mile Charoset Bitters

 

Another day, another sour! haha I do love this style of drink if you haven’t already noticed. Sadly it is pretty unlikely you will be able to recreate this one completely at home, due to the use of Charoset bitters created by Louis Anderman and Miracle Mile Bitters, simply for friends and family.

For those of you who don’t know, Charoset is a sweet, dark-colored, paste made of fruits and nuts eaten at the Jewish Passover Seder. Its color and texture are meant to recall mortar (or mud used to make adobe bricks) which the Israelites used when they were enslaved in Ancient Egypt.  The word “charoset” comes from the Hebrew word cheres — חרס — meaning “clay.” There are many recipes for charoset. Eastern European charoset is made from chopped walnuts and apples, spiced with cinnamon and sweet wine. Honey or sugar can be used as a sweetener and binder.

Jewish star

Miracle Miles Charoset bitters had a lovely cinnamon apple smell and worked beautifully on top of this sour.  Seeing as Passover began last night at sundown, this Sour FutureGreg made for me seemed a fitting option for drink of the week.

 

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Drink of the Week and 100th Post!

Gaelic SourGaelic Sour

  • 2oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 3/4oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4oz Orgeat
  • 2 dash Angostura Bitters

Garnish: Lemon Wheel

It’s that time of year again… ST.PATRICKS DAY! Also known as ‘An excuse to get drunk on Irish Whiskey and beer day!’. Every year I have been in America I have ended up more and more intoxicated on this day, moreso I think than I ever was in the UK.  The Americans (well Californians for sure) love this holiday and celebrate with Irish themed drinks, Green colored beer and clover designs all over the city.

Today FutureGreg and I are dressed in green and heading down to Townhouse in Venice Beach for their Irish themed events.  They have Irish bands playing, an Irish stew, Punch bowls and the above drink on sale all day. If you are in the neighborhood I suggest you join us.

The above recipe is a delicious Whiskey Sour with a subtle twist using the orgeat. It is sweet, flavorful and simply delicious. If ‘Irish Car Bombs’ aren’t your thing this drinking day, this is a great option instead.

On a completely different note, this is my 100th post on The Fussy One!!! Seems only fitting that a blog about alcohol would have it’s 100 post on a national drinking day :)

Everyone have a great time today and be safe!

Remember: DO NOT drink and drive!!!!

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Eat Less and Taste More @ Hostaria Del Piccolo

Hostaria Del PiccoloHostaria Del Piccolo
512 Rose Avenue,
Venice Beach, CA
310.392.8822
 

I have been writing this post for a few weeks now, because I have a lot to say about this restaurant in particular.  I finally decided I need to put it up because all the other media seem to be beating me to it, and i’ve been coming here since opening day!!!  Reviews and press have just started to come out about this place (LA times did a feature and they have been mentioned on KTLA radio) and rightly so, it is a wonderful restaurant to get really well made Italian food. It is also a fun place to go with friends for a drink.

The space

The location I am discussing in this post is the brand new Hostaria Del Piccolo in Venice Beach, California. However please note that the same wonderful menu can be found at their original Santa Monica location on 6th and Broadway, I highly recommend checking out both as they have the same amazing food and drinks but totally different vibes.

Back of house

Hostaria Del Piccolo in Santa Monica has always been one of my favorite dinner spots, so I was excited when they opened this new location on Rose Ave (a really popular area for great restaurants right now.)

This location is much larger than the first and you really feel the openness when you first walk in. Their signature bright blue aprons can be seen on the staff dotted around the room and they’ve cleverly accented the bar with this color too which make it look young, fun and cool.

Blue lit bar

I actually really like the lighting in general at this place, there is a tunnel light that wraps across the ceiling giving it a modern vibe that works well against the wood communal tables.

Kitchen

The Kitchen is in open view to the customers so you can watch pasta being rolled and pizzas being made in front of you. This is an authentic Italian restaurant and the food is nothing short of fantastic.

Pamperdella   Verdura

The owner is Italian,  a lot of the staff are Italian and you feel its authenticity not only when you taste the food, but when you talk to the people there (many of whom are Italian). In particular I want to mention one of the managers Christian Bertolli, who is probably one of the most charismatic, friendly and delightful Italian men I have ever encountered.  All the staff are lovely here and the bar team are extremely knowledgeable on ‘real’ drinks and cocktails, due to their new Beverage director Greg Bryson who was hired to update the bar program at both locations a few months ago.

Greg Bryson at work

I have been to this new spot three times already and every time it is busier than the last. I am going to talk about some of my favorite dishes, however I am yet to find one I don’t actually like.  There are many more on the menu that are worth trying, but the ones below are my top choices.

The Food

GNOCCHI  ricotta-potato gnocchi, fresh tomatoes, basil, parmesan $15 ($6 on Happy Hour menu)

Gnocchi to me is best described as a potato dumpling. I imagine if pasta and potato had a baby, they would have a gnocchi! Most places I have tried gnocchi before I didn’t really like it too much.  I found it to be a stodgy and heavy dish, however this is not the case at Hostaria. Their Gnocchi (made fresh daily) is soft and fluffy, it is deliciously cheesy with a rich tomato sauce on top.

to go

It is also not a ridiculously huge ‘American’ portion. All the portions at Hostaria are just right, they take quality over quantity to a new level. In fact, their slogan is EAT LESS, TASTE MORE! In a country that is often over indulgent I really love this idea, I am always full when I leave and never have a doggy bag. The portion sizes are just right for a comfortable evening.

COSTICINE  roasted pork ribs, cannellini beans    $12

Ribs

When I am trying not to eat breads or cheese (so hard at an Italian place) this is my go-to dish of choice.  You get three delicious pork ribs that are perfectly seasoned and full of flavor but not covered in sauce, on top of cannellini beans which are filling without being over indulgent. A really yummy, simple appetizer.

GRIGLIATI  grilled fresh calamari, mild spicy Swiss-chard $12

Grilled Calamari

I am a big fan of fried calamari (which they also have on offer) however when you want something less greasy this is a nice appetizer option. The spicy chard gives an almost peppery spiciness to the dish. The texture is a little more rubbery than the fried version but really good nonetheless.

The Pizza

There are way too many pizzas on their menu for me to possibly discuss here, but I will name a few that particularly stand out. The main thing about their pizzas are the delicious thin crusts that taste freshly baked (because they are!)

There are white pizzas (without tomato sauce) as well as gluten free dough as an option, vegan and vegetarian choices. Some of the best i’ve tried so far are as follows…

FIGOS prosciutto, seasonal figs, mozzarella, mascarpone, vincotto $16

FORMAGGI mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, ricotta, goat cheese, gorgonzola $13

ASPARAGI asparagus, egg, mozzarella, parmesan shavings, truffle salt $15

I want to keep going on the menu (haven’t even begun to touch on their other delicious pasta options, not to mention they also have a phenomenal brunch menu that has items such as Ricotta Stuffed Pancakes, Espresso rubbed Pork and Eggs and a Salmon Eggs Benedict to name but a few) but I have to talk about their drinks too.

The Bar

Greg Bryson created some delicious drinks for the menu and will be rolling out his Spring creations soon i’m sure. They only makes drinks using fresh juices and local produce (as is the only way these days) and Greg has stocked the bar with a wide range of Amari (beverage bitters from Italy) which is great for those who love bitter sweet digestivo.

I have mentioned several of Greg’s drinks in past posts, because they are excellent.  Acero was one of my favorites during Fall and is still available at both locations.

CuccioloThe cocktails on the menu are all great, but if you ask Greg (when he’s tending bar) to make you something ‘bartenders choice’ he always comes up with something fantastic whether it’s a classic made correctly, or something he makes up on the spot, he always makes sure his customers are happy.

IMG_8420All the bar staff seem focused and friendly and I am yet to have a bad drink at this bar.  Here are two other popular drinks on the current menu…

CUCCIOLO Plymouth Gin, St.Germain, cucumber, lemon $12

BLACKWORK ORANGE 100% Agave tequila, fresh lime, tangerine juice, agave nectar, black sea salt rim $12

This place gets 5 out of 5 for food. It is hands down one of my favorite places to eat because I love Italian and this is done to the highest degree.

5full (1)

Drinks easily get 5 out of 5. I have only ever had drinks made by Greg himself so I may be biased, but from what I can tell all the bartenders have been trained to make the drinks correctly too and the options are a great range for all tastes.

5full

This is a great ‘first date’ restaurant because it is fun and friendly, with a romantic edge without being overly loved up. Definitely stop by and see for yourself when you are on the West side :)

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