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Everything posted by newbie21

  1. Toby's on his way into town, but ran into several delays. We should be there having cocktails by 10:30. Hope to see you then!
  2. I think we should give Jackal10 the benefit of the doubt that he doesn't understand how restaurant workers are paid in the US, which is very unlike the European system. There is a sub-minimum wage by law in the US for restaurant workers because it is assumed that they make tips. I do not know the laws in all states, but in Pennsylvania, where I last worked in the States, the legal wage was 2.01$ per hour and waiters had to claim either a fixed percentage of their sales or the total of their credit card tips, which ever is higher, as taxable wage. Restaurants can get in a lot of trouble if servers do not declare their tips and where I last worked, servers paid their taxes on a weekly basis, which meant that we owed the restaurant money since our pay did not cover our taxes owed. And so, fear not, the American server is indeed paying taxes on the amount of every bill, regardless of whether they are tipped or not. This is the system, like it or not ,and so it seems that if someone knowingly doesn't tip at all for good service, it's a little like saying to anyone you might hire to perform a service, after he's finished the job, 'I just don't feel like paying for this service', which doesn't appear all that fair. It has nothing to do with making a relationship; it is about paying for a service you have asked for by sitting down. Now, if someone doesn't know that servers only work for tips in the US, that is a different story. ← Thanks for pointing that out. I certainly hope you have enlightened Jackal10 as to what servers actually make per hour, and that they do indeed have to declare taxes for a percentage of their ring, whether they get tipped or not. I, too, was in the restaurant business for 15 years, and getting stiffed is literally taking money out of the servers' pockets. Jackal10 needs a reality check.
  3. Of all the new and wonderful cocktails I have been delighted by, the Juliet and Romeo is the Most Divine. Toby, you are masterful!!
  4. In the months prior to and since the opening of The Violet Hour, Toby awakened my senses to the incredible world of the best cocktails ever made. I believe I actually told him that I would drink gin over my dead, rotting corpse. I am now like the gaping maw of a newly hatched chick. If I'm not at The Violet Hour (or in NY at Milk and Honey, Death and Company, Freemans, Gotham, etc), it is sadly hard to find anything that comes close to the magic that is TVH.
  5. As the name suggests, I am new at this, but live in Chicago and would LOVE to come to the bash!
  6. It's off the beaten path, for sure, but if you're looking for great Mexican, Nuevo Leon in Pilsen is outstanding. It's BYOB, so a 6-pack of ice cold Bohemia is a must! http://nuevoleonrestaurant.com/
  7. John's Pizza is at Western and Shakespeare in Bucktown. Yummy!!!
  8. A hearty congratulations to Toby and The Violet Hour for the Reader's Critic's Choice Pick for 2007: A restaurant rat’s favorite places in 2007 By Mike Sula January 3, 2008 Journalists are like rats, not only because we like to eat but also because powerful forces are trying to eradicate us. Ratatouille, an animated film about a cheffy rat and probably the most meaningful movie of all time for food nerds, resonated especially for me because the Reader, my home for more than a decade, underwent some heartbreaking downsizing this year. Sure, I identified with the movie’s food critic, Anton Ego—in fact, I dressed as him for Halloween—but I felt more for Remy the rodent, who was under constant threat yet comforted and sustained by his passion for cooking. For my part, I’m grateful for the opportunity to take solace in eating well and writing about it. And I’m encouraged that 2008 is the Year of the Rat. Here, in no particular order, are some people, places, and dishes that made me feel better during the long Year of the Pig. You can read about all of them at greater length online by clicking the links in this piece at chicagoreader.com. THE VIOLET HOUR Some people thought I’d lost my bearings when I tried to convince them that Toby Maloney’s neo-speakeasy wasn’t just a set piece for Wicker Park hipsters to dump their money into. But this year in that bar I’ve learned more about how to taste and drink like an adult than in all my years above legal age. Try the Dark & Stormy—you’ll see. 1520 N. Damen, 773-252-1500 And I believe an earlier and delightful review, but also included in this week's reader: The Violet Hour 1520 N. Damen | 773-252-1500 $ Bar/lounge | Sunday-friday 6 Pm-2 am, saturday 6 PM-3 am | Reservations not accepted Wicker Park’s hidden Violet Hour is a dark, sumptuously appointed retreat from the harsh world outside, attended by nattily dressed barkeeps who exhibit a balletic facility with jigger, shaker, and glass. “Head intoxicologist” Toby Maloney in particular is a blast to watch, building his complicated potions with aggressive grace and dexterity, his showmanship tempered by a chef’s palate and a historian’s depth of knowledge. His seasonal cocktail menu employs house-made bitters, fresh juices and garnishes, and eight types of ice in different shapes, sizes, and temperatures. The bartenders are warm, well versed in cocktail culture, and happy to guide you through the drink list. —Mike Sula http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stor...aurants/080103/
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