Thursday, November 16, 2006

Shaken not stirred

In honor of the new James Bond movie Shud “movie” go here? , I went searching for a few places to have a good martini (besides the usual Cosmos, Therapy, Blue and Loft 1523). Although most establishments feature fruity, Kool-Aid-ish martinis, the classic – with TINK vodka (or gin),ENDTINK vermouth and an olive – is still one of the most popular. Here’s what I found:

6902 Phillips Place, 704-556-7730
The deal: Martinis are served in a short glass instead of the typical long-stemmed, wide-mouth version.
Sampled: The Upstream (Blue Curaçao, champagne, vodka and pineapple juice).
Yum factor: 8 out of 10. Not nearly as sweet as I anticipated.
Providence Café
110 Perrin Place, 704-376-2008
The deal: A lot of places use blue cheese-stuffed olives, but Providence uses Gorgonzola.
Sampled: The Classic (vodka, vermouth and an olive).
Yum factor: 8 out of 10. Not too dry, not too dirty, and strong enough to put hair on your chest.
Carpe Diem
1535 Elizabeth Ave., 704-377-7976
The deal: Martinis are served with the olives attached to cute little giraffes that some customers collect.
Sampled: The Classic made with gin (the bartender loves gin) and the French martini made with vodka, pineapple juice and Chambord.

Yum factor: The Classic – 0 out of 10; either you are a gin drinker, or you’re not ¼ I’m not. The French martini – 5 out of 10; it was sweet, but not cavity-inducing.

What your favorite martini bar and your favorite martini? Post your replies below.