What’s Up Behind the Bar at Ripple?

Following the departure of Josh Berner, the wine-centric restaurant promotes from within.

Matthew Fisk, the new beverage manager at Ripple. Photograph by Jessica Voelker.

Cleveland Park restaurant Ripple is in the midst of a national search to replace its westward-bound chef, Logan Cox, and we hear there are some big names in the running.

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.

You might also like:
Imbiber’s Agenda: A Sunday Series at Proof

Where did Columbia Room Bartender Katie Nelson Go?