Welcome to Front & Center, a series highlighting front-of-house professionals in Boston-area restaurants. Eater is also currently celebrating Cocktail Week, so here's Patrick Maguire, author of I'm Your Server Not Your Servant, on one of his favorite bartenders in town, Steven Gilarde.
[Photo: Cal Bingham]
One of my favorite bartenders in Boston is Steven Gilarde at The Butcher Shop in the South End. Steve is 'good people', genuine, real and no bullshit. One of his best attributes is his ability to read guests. If I'm in the mood to chat about a variety of topics, Steve is sincere, personable, well-informed, conversant, and isn't afraid to share his opinion. He's engaging without being intrusive, has a great sense of humor, and also knows when to stay away if I want to be left alone with a date or reading material.
There are a lot of bartenders ("Mixmasters") who let their egos interfere with hospitality, and forget that it's not about them. Not Steve. I appreciate that he knows his wine, cheese, and the rest of the menu when asked for a recommendation or description, but I also appreciate that he 'gets it' when it comes to hospitality. He's the consummate professional (think Mike Lowell), attentive and extremely diligent.
Steve, thank you for your great service and hospitality. Cheers.