When it came time to chose a new beverage manager, however, owner Roger Marmet looked closer to home. Matthew Fisk (not to be confused with Columbia Room bartender Matt Ficke), a sommelier and staff trainer at the restaurant, is taking over the cocktail program following Joshua Berner’s move to the Kimpton-run modern Asian spot Zentan. Fisk will also continue to do wine things alongside general manager Danny Fisher, who hired him in the first place.
Whereas Berner has a pretty elaborate approach to cocktails—he took the fat-washing trend to a new level, using oils like sesame and olive—Fisk wants to focus primarily on well-made classics. A former staffer at Proof, Fisk says he aspires to a style like that of Adam Bernbach (Proof, Estadio)—well known for his great gin and tonics and Manhattans. And while he will feature homemade shrubs and other inventions on the drink menu, he says he is a fan of the 90/10 rule that Derek Brown recently put forth in a Table Matters essay.
Fisk has been working with Cox on a three-course bar menu at Ripple that he hopes to develop with the restaurant’s new chef. (Fans of the grilled cheese bar, fear not: Restaurant reps assure us there are no plans to take it away.) Look for Fisk’s new cocktail menu—developed in collaboration with bartender Caroline Blundell—to debut soon. Drinks under consideration include a Chartreuse swizzle, a Boulevardier variation with Gran Classico, and a drink named for Prohibition-era bootlegger Roy Olmstead that features Ransom Old Tom Gin, Fernet Branca, and a house-made red currant and balsamic shrub.