Stephen Fortner 
Member since Mar 30, 2008


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Latest Review

Re: “Halflounge Speakeasy

My favorite bar in San Francisco
No, that's not a misprint. I grew up here, and the presence of 1/2 Lounge is one more reason to be bummed that I only get back to the lush Green Mountains and the hippest little city on the planet about twice a year. 1/2 is like an upscale hipster lounge in San Francisco, only with far friendlier servers. If you go in and make your way to the basement - a rock-and-wood-paneling grotto with curtains dividing the private booths - it might take them awhile to realize you're there. Once they do, they're totally eager to explain the food and drinks, and service is speedy once you place your order. I've heard the cocktails called pricey, and given that they range from $8 to $11, that's not unfair in the context of Burlington. In or near any major city (I live in Oakland, CA now) it would be entry-level. More importantly, a single cocktail at 1/2 is worth about two or three elsewhere. The liquor pours are generous, and the bar recipes are very creative, with fresh flavors that practically pop out of the glass into your mouth. For a cold drink, try the mango gingerita; to cut through the Vermont winter chill, try "Mrs. Butterworth's Evil Husband" or the "Money Shot," a kick-yer-ass coffee drink (so much, in fact, that I forgot what was in it) served with a shot of Bailey's in a chocolate shot glass you can either eat or dissolve in the drink. Food choices are mainly small plates and panini, with lots of things good for sharing, and the desserts are to die for. Though the fare is different, the food quality is on par with what you might expect from an upmarket hang such as Leuing's. Upstairs is for music, which ranges from local singer-songwriters (as this web site's official description of 1/2 notes) to DJs spinning downtempo, chillout, and acid-jazz. Downstairs, small though it is, is simply my favorite chill-with-a-drink space in the world. It has the feeling of a secret room just discovered by mischeivous Hogwarts students. That's it - the Chamber of Blissful Inebriation. Food: 4 Ambiance: 5 Service: 4

Posted by Stephen Fortner on 03/31/2008 at 5:50 PM

Recent Comments

Re: “Gunning for Reform: Burlington's Firearms Vote May Prove Largely Symbolic

Vermont has the lowest rate of gun violence, per capita, in the nation. Gun control in Vermont is a solution in search of a problem--a problem being manufactured by a vocal minority that is perhaps uncomfortable that others around them may be carrying firearms. Move to New York or Massachusetts or California, then, where there's strict gun control. (There's also much more violent crime, and you won't be allowed a gun to protect yourself.) Part of what makes me proud to be from Vermont is the combination of social responsibility and civil libertarianism: You can be happily married to your same-sex partner and even get them health insurance, yet both have Sig-Sauers under the seats of your Subaru. And most people don't think there's anything abnormal about that. It's part of an ethic of "Be good to each other, but mind your own business" that is utterly unique to Vermont. It'd be heartbreaking to see that get f***ed up by either the left or the right trying to tell people what they can and can't do.

Posted by Stephen Fortner on 03/23/2014 at 12:17 PM

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