Enjoying whiskey & beer at Amari, a Hillsboro Village cocktail bar

07/06/2016
Joe Doino

I’ve never really considered myself a complicated person.  I like what I like and ordinarily keep it simple.  I have a great appreciation for good beer, whiskey and food but rarely dive into the “luxury” side of things.  I’m always open to new things and definitely subscribe to the mentality that growth occurs when you’re outside your comfort zone.  That’s where this week’s cheat meal comes in…

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Speakeasies are badass.  I don’t care what anyone says.  My friend Thomas was in town visiting and suggested we grab a drink before dinner.  We head to this great place called Amari, a speakeasy hidden behind a folding door that looks like a bookshelf, just inside the entrance to Savarino’s Cucina on Belcourt Avenue.  They advertise themselves as “A Taste of Sicily in Music City,” and I really dig the atmosphere.

Amari bar

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Once you go through the secret hidden entrance, up the stairs you go and suddenly you see this –

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It’s chill yet warm at the same time.  The setting conjures up images of flappers casually enjoying their illegal drinks during Prohibition; you rub your eyes and realize they are pretty coeds from nearby Vanderbilt…in a nod to the modern age, they even have purse and coat hangers underneath the bar that also have USB charging ports…how kewl is that?!?

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The bartender was really nice and very knowledgeable about the mammoth whiskey selection…

Amari bar

…and the great selection of craft beers. I’m a huge fan of Founder’s Brewing Company and they happened to have the “All Day IPA” available and as usual, it delivers.

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Thomas and the bartender got into a conversation about the whiskies available; and one in particular, one I haven’t tried, caught my attention – Stranahan’s Whiskey out of Colorado.

Amari bar

They both had nothing but great things to say about it so I had to try it.  It’s great.  Smooth as hell and always distilled in small batches to maintain consistent quality.  I’m picking up a bottle, I’ll tell you that much.

We finish up our drinks and head out to our next stop…

 

MY BACKGROUND

I’m Joey, a New York drummer living in Nashville, playing with the band, Arc & Stones.

I LOVE FOOD! Right after college, I gained a lot of weight and hit a whopping 267 lbs. Terrified that I could hit 300 lbs before I hit 30 years, I decided to take control of the foods I was eating and started taking the fitness thing more seriously. I keep a very strict diet, making sure I hit my macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbs) each day. I hit the gym six days a week.

But once a week I cheat and treat myself. Food is one of my favorite things in life. This regime allows me to have my cheese-stuffed, deep-fried cake and eat it too. My column will focus on these indulgent treats.