Jacob Grier transitions from Cowen’s take – ask a cabbie – to alcohol:
When I want to find good places to eat in a city I don’t know, I ask for recommendations from a bartender or barista who cares about what they do. They rarely steer me wrong.
Why that might be:
For a long time drinks received too little care in part because two of the same forces that damaged American dining – Prohibition and World War II – cast an even longer shadow on American drinking. The former threw talented barmen out of work or overseas. Both events were disastrous for quality wine, beer, and spirits. Home brewing of beer wasn’t legalized until 1978, helping open the field to new entrants. Spirits and cocktails have taken an especially long time to recover, due to complex and restrictive laws regarding distribution and service that differ in every state. The rediscovery of vintage cocktails and spirits began taking off in the late 1980s and has only recently expanded widely.