My wife and I were in Buffalo earlier this week, as I’ve mentioned several times these last few days.
On Wednesday, before leaving the city, we had a late lunch at Cecelia’s Ristorante.
We’d driven around the city and done some shopping on Elmwood, and Cecelia’s has a convenient location central to all the shops we were browsing (and just across the way from the Blue Monk).
Plus, my wife and I have a certain fondness for Cecelia’s. We stopped there for brunch one Sunday about four years ago, on our one-year wedding anniversary. This week was actually our first time back since that brunch, and seeing as how we were on Elmwood we figured we’d stop for old time’s sake.
Lunch was great. We had stuffed peppers, salad, pizza and a burger. My wife had a cosmopolitan, which was perfectly pink — and not red at all, like too many usually are. My mother-in-law had a mimosa, probably due in part to all of the talking my wife and I had been doing about Cecelia’s Sunday brunches and the “Bottomless Mimosas” they offer.
The rest of the cocktail menu was an assortment of different martinis, which is understandable — as Cecelia’s brands itself a “Martini Bar.” There were other spirits being used in some of the drinks on their menu, but I skipped the list and headed to the bar to see if any of the bottles looked interesting.
Other bartenders surely have this impulse, especially if they tend bar in a small or rural city that’s a decent ways away from mid-sized and larger cities. In my hometown, I’m limited to what my bar stocks — and all the boozes of the local bars which I frequent. Not to say that there aren’t any good or interesting boozes here at home, they’re just all very familiar to me. And plus, experiencing new things in other places is how new trends travel and new boozes make their way into our local waters. For instance, Forte has Fernet-Branca now. And I have a growing interest in all types of amaro, so of course I’m going to search out something new.
Backing up for a moment, I was initially tempted to get a Campari and soda with lunch (which I’ve had many times before and is a nice afternoon drink with a meal). But when I saw the bottle Amaro Nonino on Cecelia’s back bar, My desire to try something new took over — plus I figured it’d be a perfect post-lunch digestif.
Amaro Nonino Quintessentia is a grappa-based Italian amaro.
Grappa is a fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy associated with Italy.
Amaro Nonino in specific is bitter and sweet and has a variety of herbal components, flavored with herbs from the mountains of Friuli.
— Here’s a year-by-year history of Amaro Nonino’s evolution.
— Here’s an exclusively Amaro Nonino focused cocktail book.
— This post from a few years back on Measure & Stir lists several brands of amaro to try, and the writer’s opinions of each.
•HOW TO DRINK AMARO NONINO•
This is from the first link I posted above:
“Amaro Nonino Quintessentia should be served in a tumbler with ice and a slice of orange peel or with crushed ice and a sprig of mint as a fabulous aperitif.
It can also be served at room temperature after a meal as a digestif.”