Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Terence Miller at the Stone Rose Lounge

January 23

As I sat in front of my computer earlier in the week, I thought to myself, "You know who I haven't seen in a while?"

So I emailed Yuri Kato of Cocktail Times in hopes of grabbing a drink and catching up. I was in luck. She'd just returned from Japan. She also said that Terence Miller, formerly the sommelier and beverages person over at Megu, was now working as general manager at the Stone Rose Lounge. So we set the time and day, and on Friday, I left the office and made my way westward to Columbus Circle.

The Stone Rose Lounge is housed in the Time Warner Center, surrounded by other restaurants such as Masa, Per Se and Landmarc. The place, which is celebrating its fifth year this year, is definitely more of a lounge, but boasted sprawling space with a ridiculous view of Columbus Circle below.

When Yuri and I met Terence (whom I first saw at the Marie Brizard East Cost competition) at the Stone Rose Lounge, he was just hitting on week two in his new position. The place had a mix of wines, cocktails, and a large selection of spirits.

I asked Terence about the crowd, and he answered that it was a mix from what he's seen. There are people who work and live in the area, then on the weekends the place gets traffic from tourists. He also said that people in the performing arts also stop by since Columbus Circle is in close proximity to venues such as Lincoln Center. Terence explained that alcohol sales reflect the different types of people who stop by. Some might have a pre-show or pre-dinner glass of wine. Tourists might want to try out cocktails in a New York bar. Business types may want to unwind with a glass of their favorite spirit.

Terence suggested that start off with a Peartini (pear vodka, elderflower syrup and champagne), which he pointed out used elderflower syrup rather than liqueur. And thinking I should trying something in the spirit of the season, I tried out the Clementine Crush next (clementine vodka, fresh orange juice, tonic, fresh ginger root and sugar).

The lounge is part of the Gerber Group, some of the drinks onhe cocktail menu might seem familiar since you can also find them at other Gerber bars. Terence said that he was looking forward to working with the menu, possibly bringing in more wines. But for now as he settles into his new position, he said, "I'm here to observe and absorb."