Best Cocktails: The man pours with passion
Mikey Moreno's cocktails are the work of a man in love with his craft. He searches out artisanally crafted spirits -- ever heard of Liquore di Strega? Miller's gin? -- and puzzles out how to best show off their obscure charms. Even classic drinks such as the Sidecar are tweaked enough to pique your interest. Nontipplers can drink fizzy coolers flavored with elderflower and lingonberry syrup; wine lovers praise the restaurant's list of by-the-glass wines, sexy and intellectually stimulating in a Sarah Vowell kind of way. All are tasty enough to demand your overindulgence. When À Côté's bartenders aren't juggling a half-dozen orders, they can discuss how the Macouba 21-year-old rum compares to the Saint James, and that's only if you care about the differences among Martinique rums. But face time with a bartender is rare, especially on the weekends, when the jostling for a place at the bar is brutal. Never fear, though: The Manhattan you slip in for at happy hour and the one you find yourself nursing three drinks later will be just as exquisite. Just be sure to eat something between rounds.