Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Three-peat for mk


mk just received Wine Spectator's "Best of Award of Excellence" for the third year in a row. The award honors those restaurants with wine lists that display either vintage depth, with vertical offerings of several top producers from major regions, or excellent breadth spread over several wine-growing regions. These wine lists typically offer 500 or more selections, along with superior presentation.

Summer's skinniest sippers


When you pair these salads with the calorie-conscious cocktails below, you cannot help but have a great season of skinny jeans, back-bearing dresses and form-fitting tops:

It's all about the Veevo Italian (Veev Acai liqueur, orange juice and club soda, served up or on the rocks; $9) at A MANO, the casual Italian sibling of Bin 36. Veev is the only liqueur made with acai berries, which are loaded with antioxidants. Veev also is produced in accordance with green practices, is certified carbon neutral and donates $1 per bottle sold to Brazilian rainforest projects.

Butterfly Social Club, the stylish, eco-friendly lounge owned by Mark Klemen (Funky Buddha Lounge), serves only organic and chemical-free drinks, including their version of a Gin 'n' Juice. They use a traditional botanical gin with organic herbs and juniper berries served with fresh squeezed orange and lime juice for $9.

The always jumpin' Martini Park cranks out an extensive drink list of handcrafted cocktails. Customers may choose from favorites like the Gimlet (Tanqueray and fresh lime juice) or Cucumber Martini (Skyy Melon, cucumber essence and fresh lime juice). Both are $11 ($7 every Tuesday for Return of the Cocktail Party).

New Lakeview eatery Shochu is making waves for its unique cocktails made from the distilled shochu liquor in lieu of vodka. The Iwo Oyama is just one drink featuring rice shochu with pear and green tea. Made from different ingredients that also include sweet potato, barley and brown sugar, Shochu has one-third the calories of vodka and is less likely to give you a hangover. It also produces an enzyme called Urokinase, which breaks down blood clots and helps prevent heart attacks and stroke. $8.

And for those not drinking, Sushi Samba rio offers a few great health-conscious "mock-tails" for those looking to save themselves from even more calories. Included is the Ruby Smash, made with raspberries, guava and lime, and served in a martini glass for $8. —Additional reporting by Suzy McMillen