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Nightlife Winners

Best Cocktail Menu

Pepino's

Frank Hamilton

301 S. Exeter St., (410) 342-7487

Posted 9/17/2008

The few times we've visited Pepino's, the "crowd" has included us, the unflappably friendly bartender, and maybe a Little Italy local or two. Maybe we've just gone on off nights, but that's a shame, because while Little Italy is often only remembered when the family's in town and we're looking for a neutral dining experience, tiny Pepino's has got charm to spare. It also has one of the more elaborate specialty drinks menus we've seen, with a handy description of each concoction tacked up above the bar. The fruit juice-heavy drinks are sweet, stiff, and priced to move. Two tall glasses of Pepino's Punch--Malibu and Meyers rum with pineapple, cranberry, and orange juices--is a better pre-movie drinking option than the bar at the nearby Landmark Harbor East theater. Hell, sometimes you can barely taste the booze in Pepino's drinks, which can be dangerous. The Dirty Banana was an almost smoothie-rich treat made with crème de cacao, banana-flavored liqueur, and milk. It tasted like something you'd buy at a coffee shop, except with a kick that went way beyond caffeine.

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Other Awards for Best Cocktail Menu:

Shorty's Martini Bar and Lounge, 9/16/2009

Shorty's Martini Bar and Lounge, 9/19/2007

Ixia, 9/21/2005

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Tags: booze

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