Tag Archives: Jeff Marron

Round 1 of Kawa Ni Cocktail Wars: Cream Cheese Floaters, Ancho Liquor, Sake Bombs + Walruses

25 Mar
Dimitrios Elias Zahariadis puts the finishing touches on his cocktail

Dimitrios Elias Zahariadis puts the finishing touches on his cocktail

The first ever Cocktail Wars stirred up some action yesterday at Kawa Ni. People began gathering around 5, pregaming with cocktails, good company, and plenty of good spirits (both kinds). The anticipation built up as Chefs Bill and Jeff Taibe and Beverage Manger Jeff Marron waited for the action to begin.
Pork rind nachos from Walrus + CarpenterThe contestants (listed below and in our Facebook slideshow) were off in the corner, trash talking and just catching up. During all of this, the staff at Kawa Ni brought out plenty of snacks and treats from Joe Farrell of Walrus + Carpenter. There was crispy edamame, pork rind nachos, hush puppies, chicken livers with toast, and fried olives, so plenty to snack on.

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Want to be a Judge for Kawa Ni Cocktail Wars? Enter now!

12 Mar

Kawa Ni Westport 2DSC_7618

UPDATE: Congrats to Airen, Alexis, and Ray for snagging 3 pairs of tix to the now completely sold out Kawa Ni Cocktail War Contest! While they were picked randomly, we both debated a long time on the judges spot. In the end, though, we decided to go with Andrea Viscuso.

While we often focus on the explosion of craft beer in Connecticut, there’s another segment of the food biz that has been growing by leaps and bounds: creative bar programs at restaurants. Over the last year or two the attention and care people have given to what they eat and the ingredients go into their food has spilled over to what they’re drinking and how it’s made. So, it’s no surprise to see the CT craft cocktail culture boom with plenty of great places to get masterfully mixed concoctions. For one, beverage Manager and Bartender Jeff Marron of Kawa Ni, LeFarm, and The Whelk, is incredibly excited about (and committed to) the cocktail culture in CT.

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Why Kawa Ni Is the (Sake) Bomb – Westport, CT

5 Oct

When you’re asked where you want to go out to dinner for your birthday, how do you pick? Do you go for that fancy schmancy place you’ve been waiting for a special occasion to go to, or your favorite spot you know is going to be amazing, or the hot new restaurant you’ve been dying to try? It’s a tough call…I mean, you only get that choice once a year.

Well, when Danny’s birthday came around he didn’t even need to think twice (or once really) as he blurted out Kawa Ni within seconds of asking. See, years ago (before the blog) we spent his birthday at Chef Bill Taibe’s restaurant, LeFarm, and had an astounding meal that featured bacon in every dish. Danny knew going with Bill again along with his brother Jeff would be a sure bet at their new Izakaya pub with Pan-Asian influences. And (spoiler alert) it SOOOOO was!

Jeff Marron runs the bar at Kawa Ni Westport Kawa Ni is located in a somewhat unsuspecting spot, tucked away in the corner of Bridge Square in Westport. It’s small but lively when you walk in, with the bar at the back left and a decent amount of seats throughout for such a cozy spot. The decor is tasteful…not that stereotypically tacky and kitchsy Japanese decor you might expect, but it definitely says modern Japanese food is served here. One random but awesome thing about the restaurant itself to mention in the blog post? Yeah, the bathrooms have the mega-toilet 3,000 or something like that with seat warmers, a bidet, dryer and more buttons that we were too scared to press. As we got comfy in our seats, we occasionally heard the bang of the gong and Bartender and Beverage Director, Jeff Marron, enthusiastically shout out something in Japanese. But more on that in a minute…

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In the mix: Jeff Marron talks about his new role as Beverage Manager at leFarm and The Whelk

20 Apr


When we hit up any restaurant, the first thing we do is check out the drink options.  We need to chill, we need to set the mood, and we need something great to go with our meal.  Whether it’s beer, wine, liquor, cocktails, or something exotic like sake, the drink menu is key to a great meal.  And, while drinks menus can complement meals nicely, they also need to be strong and varied enough for people who just want to hit up the bar.

Verified proof...

Verified proof…

Making all of this come together is no easy task, just ask Jeff Marron. He was just appointed Beverage Manager at Chef Bill Taibe’s locally and nationally celebrated restaurants, leFarm and The Whelk. You might be familiar with Jeff for his insanely in-depth knowledge of wine, beer, and spirits through Saugatuck Grain + Grape of Westport. You might have also tried his barrel aged cocktails (he is the master of the Negroni) at Bar Sugo or other restaurants, and you might have also had his drinks at Luxe Modern Wine & Cocktails.  There at Luxe he is finishing up his role as Beverage and Food Director.  And, now with all of these skills, experience, knowledge, and passion for drinks, he makes his mark on Westport yet again.

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Down the Hatch! Big Bad Bourbon Tasting @ Saugatuck Grain and Grape in Westport

10 Nov

Meet Jeff Marron, the Big Bad Bourbon Daddy.  With Mimi McLaughin, he owns Saugatuck Grain and Grape in Westport and c2h6o that will be opening up in Spring 2013.  In town, his shop is known as a go to place for all your wine, beer, and liquor needs.  Perhaps one of the key reasons why people can’t stop coming by is Jeff’s immense knowledge and his love of classic, old school cocktails.

Food from Saugatuck Grain and Grape’s last scotch tasting, from their FB page

So, whether you’re a devoted Grain and Graper or if you’d like to walk into their doors for the first time, we’ve got a great event to share with you:  the Big Bad Bourbon Tasting from 6-8 on 11/13!  Yes, every year there is a bourbon tasting, right before Thanksgiving.  Vendors such as Wild Turkey, St. George Spirits, and Jim Beam come in and serve up some great bourbons and whiskeys that are Jeff-approved.

A customer tastes some scotch at Saugatuck Grain and Grape’s last scotch event, from their FB page

You’ll also be able to taste one of Jeff’s famous barrel-aged cocktails.  He’ll be serving up a Manhattan that comes from an 1862 recipe that he loves.  Jeff’s all about the classic cocktail, especially those from the 1800s!  He’s also all about making this night a “tasting on steroids.”  Why, you ask?  30-40 bottles will be poured out, so you can drink a few bourbons or drink a few more bourbons.  Plus, there will be food on hand from a local caterer.  Jeff told us that the food for the night needs to be cooked with a bourbon or a rye, making this a true bourbon tasting.

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