By Charles Ferruzza
June 20, 2016
After 10 months at Dempsey’s Burger Pub in Westport, bartender Jenn Tosatto — her resume also includes stints at Bar Natasha and the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange — is poised to raise the bar, so to speak, at a different venue. On July 5, the veteran takes over the bar program at Q39, creating that restaurant’s first craft-cocktail program.
“I’ve loved my time here,” Tosatto tells me. Dempsey’s, she adds, “has bent over backwards for me as a single mother. It’s a terrific place. But I wanted the opportunity to create my own bar program.”
Tosatto says she’s been a fan of Q39 chef-owner Rob Magee’s cuisine since the competitive-barbecue mainstay first opened his own upscale smoke shack a couple of years ago, at 1000 West 39th Street.
“I think it’s going to be a mutually beneficial arrangement,” she says. “The food is so extraordinary, it’s going to be a challenge to see what I can bring to the table. But creating a cocktail program to complement barbecue is a unique opportunity. I’ll be using house ingredients from the kitchen to style cocktails that work particularly well with smoked meats.”
She adds: “There’s such a wide range of flavor profiles that add a lot of complementary tastes to Q39’s menu, including whiskey, scotch and sherry. Then there are the citrusy, acidic flavors that cut through the smokiness, and rich cocktails that really bring out the best in meaty, fatty deliciousness.”
Tosatto is also excited about the opportunity to be joining Q39 as it begins expanding – a second location is poised to open later this year in the former Hayward’s BBQ restaurant at 11051 Antioch in Johnson County.
“This is a dream to be working with Rob Magee and Q39,” she says. “A little bit overwhelming, a little bit terrifying, but it’s exactly where I want to be.