Ecco is a seasonally-inspired European restaurant in Midtown that LK + I frequent. It’s also cooked up quite a reputation recently for its celebrity customers… The food is fantastic, the wine is out of this world – and the bar, in particular, is one of our favorite places to hang out + people watch. So naturally, we HAD to interview Eric for The Quick + Dirty Dirty Bartender Challenge!
Eric, who is originally from DC, started working in the hotel and restaurant biz while in college. He began bartending in 1983 + enjoyed it so much he’s stuck with it since. Simply, bartending makes our lovely Eric happy. He joined the Fifth Group in 2005, and he helped open Ecco with the company in 2006. Eric is a trainer for Fifth Group, which keeps him super busy, but he makes sure to take four days off every month to travel and visit friends + family. This month, he’s headed to Anna Maria Island off the coast of Florida for some well-deserved R&R!
Now, if you do the math (he started bartending in 1983…), Eric’s age may suprise you. But let us tell Y’ALL, he looks f.a.n.t.a.s.t.i.c. Witness:
So, LK + I DRILLED him for his secret to fabulousness: lots of H2O, lots of rest, a glass of wine every night, sunscreen twice a day + working out six or seven days a week. (Eric teaches spinning at local gyms.)
Chit-chatting with Eric is always splendid, but finally it was time to get down to business with…
THE DIRTY DIRTY DOZEN QUESTIONS
1 – Please state your name + place of employment for the record.
Eric Aarons. Head bartender at Ecco.
2 – What’s your drink?
Most often wine. But if I do have a cocktail, it’s a Hanger One martini – straight up, extra dry, extra cold, with a twist.
3 – What drink do you hate to be asked to make?
Any variation on one of my signature cocktails. They are my creations. Please don’t insult me by rewriting my recipes.
4 – What’s the best story you’ve heard in your bar?
I’ve been behind the bar for twenty-nine years. I could write volumes. A true professional keeps those stories confidential.
5 – Describe your clientele in three words.
Sexy. Savvy. Fun.
6 – If you’re not drinking at Ecco, where are you drinking?
At home. Sitting on my balcony. With my dog, Buddy, in my lap. Taking in the Midtown skyline.
7 – If your bar was personified in a celebrity, who would it be?
George Clooney. Sexy (again). Stylish. Talented.
8 – Imagine you were stranded on a desert island + wanted to start a bar from scratch. You can bring 4 bottles and 1 type of glass. What would they be?
Three bottles of H2O for survival. One bottle of grain alcohol to light a fire, send smoke signals + get rescued! You can keep the glass – I ain’t stayin’!!
9 – Currently, what is the most popular drink at your bar?
“GiGi Says…” I just won a national contest with this cocktail: http://www.hangarone.com/blimp-tour/entry/14. It is my spin on a ginger gimlet.
(Side note: LK + I looooove “GiGi Says…”)
10 – What is your favorite area of town?
Midtown. It’s where I live, work + play.
11 – What is your secret weapon?
Depends on my target. I have an arsenal…
12 – The name of the cocktail is “The Quick + Dirty Dirty.” What’s in it?
Hanger One vodka martini with juice from San Agostino olives topped with a medley of three delicious olives all imported from Italy: San Agostino, Gaeta + Calabrese.
Thanks so much to Eric for participating in The Quick + Dirty Dirty Bartender Challenge! Visit him soon at Ecco – and wave to us at the bar. (Odds are LK + I will be sitting there sippin’ our “GiGi Says…”)
Do you have a recommendation for our next contender? Are you a mixologist we need to meet?
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us up at @Lindsaywhat44 + @LaurenKAtlanta!
Maybe we’ll see YOU next on The Q+DD Bartender Challenge!
40 7th Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
Tags: ,blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol, celebrities!, day drinking, I'm just saying..., Lets hear it for the boys, midtown mavens, Moxie? We got it., PLU, q+, Q+DD Bartender Challenge, Q+DD friends, see and be seen, Table for Two, Things that are awesome..., very important people, wine-O, You Can Find Me in the A