Welcome back to Front and Center, a series dedicated to highlighting excellent Front of House staff. Ronald Holden is an Eater Contributor. Today, he pays tribute to Murray Stenson, voted the #1 bartender in America by his peers at Tales of the Cocktail in 2010.
[Photo: Ronald Holden]
Murray Stenson, Seattle's most celebrated barman (formerly at Zig Zag, currently at Canon) is focused, knowledgeable, approachable and personable. Regularly celebrated in recent years by a variety of national publications, Stenson is no slouch ("Murr the blur" is his nickname), but his trademark isn't so much speed as sensitivity.
He not only knows his customers and remembers their drinks, he tastes every drink he makes (dipping a straw, not sipping from the glass). Classic cocktails, not date-night garbage. "Sex on the Beach?" he once asked a newbie at the bar, "I'm sorry, I don't know what that is."
· All Murray Stenson Coverage on Eater Seattle [-ESEA-]