Even after the admonitions of the film Supersize Me, Americans still tend -- not always, but often -- to think big. Everything from oversized cars to oversized burgers to oversized cocktails (soup bowl margarita anyone?) is there for the choosing. So, it's refreshing when something is small -- on purpose.
The idea came to beverage director Nikki Sunseri when she was tasked with the idea of heading in a more old school direction with the drinks menu. "We wanted to be more classic Hollywood," said Sunseri, "and to create that feeling that Dominick's has had for so many years. It was a rat pack hangout, a place for movie stars and businessmen alike and that part of its history is very special."
To capture that mood, Sunseri assembled a collection of five mini cocktails. There's nothing wild or fanciful here, just comfortable standards that won't conflict with the hearty Italian meal to come. Guests can choose from a gin or vodka martini, a Manhattan, a tequila daisy (with Napoleon Mandarin, lime, honey, and grapefruit peel), or two quaffable sparklers in the form of a Champagne cocktail and a Rossini (strawberries and Prosecco), the latter only available at Little Dom's.
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As to the relatively basic selection, Sunseri simply says, "I've always been a believer in simplicity. It always works if you do it well, with integrity and love." With these three-and-one-half-ounce drinks coming in at $4 a pop, there's a lot of love going around.
The cocktails are available at Dominick's from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at Little Dom's on the Piccolini menu from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Because it's never to early to drink a tiny cocktail.
Lesley blogs at 12 Bottle Bar, tweets at @12BottleBar and is the author of the book "Gin: A Global History." Email her at email@example.com. Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.