Sunday, September 2, 2018

An Abundant Life - A Taste Above

The first time I saw a cocktail created by Stephanie O'Neill it was in a post on Instagram for Negroni Week at Antique Bar & Bakery. I love Negronis and have ever since I read about them in the New York Sunday Times food section years ago in an article on summer cocktails for enjoying with lawn games. They paired different games like Boules, Petanque and Bocce with the cocktails made by their associated countries that used Campari and similar aperitifs, and not only was I introduced to Campari for the first time, but I bought a set of bocce balls and started playing during my summer vacation in Rhode Island. I don't own the bocce set any more and I haven't played in years, but when I saw Stephanie's specialty cocktail it made me want to buy a new set and head on over to Antique to play on the sidewalk out front. I left a comment about my bocce sidewalk dreams on the post that had the photograph of the beautiful cocktail, and she responded with enthusiastic encouragement, saying she'd make special bocce ball drinks to go along with my game, and though that wonderful dream never happened, I felt like I'd made a new friend.

It's not often that someone as talented as Stephanie is has the time or interest to respond with such fun to a comment on a post, and when I discovered one night when I was at Antique that she had started working there a few days a week, I told her I'd love to meet with her for a blog post. I had thought her Negroni post was just a special once in a lifetime Negroni Week guest appearance, and to hear that she would be at Antique weekly was so much good and delicious news. She's always concocting something as delicious as it is beautiful - one afternoon when I stopped by she presented me with a surprise of an interactive cocktail that changed colors from blue to lavender as I poured one elixir into another. Topped with pea blossoms it made my chemistry loving summer gardener's heart as happy as could be and refreshed my tired soul as it brightened my day with its loveliness. She also works at Vu Restaurant and Lounge at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City On The Hudson, and so after experiencing her wonderful skill at Antique a few times, I made an appointment to meet her at the Hyatt. The views over the Hudson alone are worth the trip, and with Stephanie crafting the most delectable and creative cocktails the evening was sublime. Add into that the delicious and creative food available from Chef Cruz, and my cup ran over into blissfulness. I don't usually give warnings about the people I write about, but with Stephanie I will have to in all good conscience. Her cocktails are so smooth and delicious you'll want to drink them quickly, and though they're made with such high quality ingredients they won't hurt you, I'd recommend sipping them in a more refined way to enjoy them all the longer.

Stephanie is fun and funny and full of life, and she's very well educated and lady like too. A graduate of CUNY with a Masters Degree in Political Science, she taught at Queens College for four to five years in both the Political Science and Urban Studies departments before she decided to pursue her side job of bartending full time, and she enjoys bringing more in depth and philosophical ideas into her conversations and her cocktail creations. She's one of the lovely flowers from Georgia that has been transplanted here to help us all grow more lively, so stop on in for a visit at Antique or the Hyatt and enjoy beautiful views and beautiful tastes with a Mixologist who can make any cocktail shine brighter.

Stephanie O'Neill At Vu Restaurant and Lounge
The Hyatt Regency
Jersey City On The Hudson
2 Exchange Place
Jersey City, New Jersey

Beautiful Views On The Way

And Lovely Views Inside

Delicious Creations From Chef Cruz

A Perfect Pour Every Time

Adding A Special Mist Over The Top
For Added Perfection

Stunning Views

As Afternoon Turns Into Evening

A Perfect Garnish For A Perfect Cocktail
My Initial Made From Citrus Peel
Perched Happily On The Glass

Stephanie O'Neill
At Antique Bar & Bakery
122 Willow Avenue
Hoboken, New Jersey

An Interactive Specialty Cocktail
That Changes Colors
Topped With Pea Blossoms

Complementing The Marvelous Creations
Of Chef Paul Gerard


Jannie Susan

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