Monday, October 24, 2011

MPC's Maggie Savarino: Poised to be notable

She's one of those rare folks who both live and work in Madison Park. Maggie Savarino, former food-and-booze columnist for Seattle Weekly, is known to many of us as the front-of-house manager, concoctor of drinks, and sometime bartender at Madison Park Conservatory.  She's also, in the opinion of Seattle Magazine, one of nine people "poised to become the Seattle dining scene's next notable names."  In other words, she has the honor of being in the City's "Next Wave of Tastemakers."

The November issue of the magazine, just out, cites Savarino for "her upstairs bar menu of tinkered, tinctured cocktails and other creative libations," noting that these are "a welcome discovery at an already impressive restaurant." Seattle Magazine also discloses that Savarino recently authored a new book, The Seasonal Cocktail Companion, which will be published next month by Sasquatch Books. Subtitled, 100 Recipes and Projects for 4 Seasons of Drinking, the book, in the words of foodblog, "contains DIY projects, including root beer bitters, booze-soaked cherries, and make-your-own 'cellos beyond the standard lemon variety. As the title suggests, the book is organized by season, with at least one drink recipe for each project."  DIY, for the uninitiated, is Do It Yourself.

We caught up with Maggie last week in MPC's upstairs bar, where she not only is responsible for creating the drink menu but also tends the bar on Wednesday evenings. She was modest about her newfound status as a tastemaker and somewhat bashful about getting her picture taken. But she was not shy about talking up her new book or touting the Conservatory. With regard to the book, she reports that her goal in writing it was to demystify the subject.  She accomplishes this by providing cocktail recipes, tips, tricks, and ideas (including how to winterize tequila).

With regard to the restaurant, she notes that there is a new bar menu upstairs, just introduced, which includes some interesting and tasty items not part of MPC's regular fare (such as "a burger of our very own," a grilled cheese/smokey tomato soup combination, and a grilled beef tongue with housemade pickles).  Happy Hour, by the way, is from 4 to 6 pm.

Another thing, she says, is worth noting: Tako Truk is back, at least in abbreviated form.  Chef/owner Cormac Mahoney reintroduced the specialty-taco concept at MPC earlier this summer as the Sunday night cuisine (4-8 pm).  It's an informal, family atmosphere downstairs, Maggie says, with no reservations taken and a menu consisting of interesting, unexpected and tasty tacos (including the popular Coco Piggy).  If you wanted to, she says, you could probably be in and out in twenty minutes (though you probably wouldn't want to).  In addition, there's fun upstairs for the 21-and-over crowd (featured on November 20, for example, is guest DJ Kurt “The Godfather” Bloch of Too Many Bands to Mention).  Details of the Tako Truk experience are available here.

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