Best Bartender - 2008
Ted Kilgore - CLOSED
Ted Kilgore doesn't know your name. It's not that Monarch's bar manager is unsociable; his focus just lies elsewhere — namely, on the drink he's about to pour for you. No matter what you decide on, this cocktailophile knows the drink's history, all of its variations and everything else you can think to ask. That's when Kilgore's on top of his game: when he's talking, mixing and inventing that drink. In doing so, he's created quite a buzz: Beverage Media tapped him as one of this year's "10 Trendsetting Mixologists," and in the past both Food & Wine and Wine Enthusiast featured his original concoctions. Friend and coworker T.J. Vytlacil believes all Kilgore needs to know is your clothing or dating style and he'll have a blueprint of your palate mapped out in his head. "He's very carefully creative," Vytlacil says. "He puts a lot of thought into each drink." And in Kilgore's case, it's definitely the thought that counts.