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Pete Wells Hates Restaurant Cocktails, Because They're Just to Make People Spend Money

The Times critic files a takedown of the state of restaurant cocktails.

Daniel Krieger

Pete Wells files a long discussion today of the state of restaurant cocktails, which he says is largely dismal these days. His complaints are legion, from the proliferation of "original" cocktails, to the long lists of ingredients. But overall, the main issue seems to be that restaurants have cocktail menus at all these days, which is not, Wells says, the way it used to be.

Why is that? Eben Freeman, cocktail consultant to Michael White and AvroKo offers this disheartening explanation: "You're hoping to get a cocktail sale in before they settle down with the wine list. The dark side is that they will drink the cocktail faster...And it will affect their decision-making, and might cause them to get the steak for two. Or the more expensive bottle of wine."

But even Wells admits there are some exceptions to the rule out there, including the Nomad, and some of Michael White's restaurants. Ryan Sutton weighs in on his favorites (Carbone, Empellon Cocina, Betony to name a few) over in the forums. Feel free to do the same.