Restaurant News & Reviews

Bartender Dominick Starosky, Atomic Café: A balancing act

Atomic Café bartender Dominick Starosky says balance is the key to a great drink.
Atomic Café bartender Dominick Starosky says balance is the key to a great drink.

Dominick Starosky is a bartender/manager at Atomic Café. He is a native of Seattle and has tended bar for close to 10 years.

How did you get your start? "I've wanted to be a bartender ever since I saw my first cocktail, and I've always been fascinated with alcohol. I started at the bottom and worked my way up to here."

What makes a good drink? "Balance. People generally assume that more alcohol is what makes a drink better, which is not the case. You have to have balance."

If you could drink only one drink for the rest of your life, what would it be? "Vodka Red Bull. It would keep me going."

Do you know your regulars by name? "Half of my regulars have become like my family, although I'd say I remember what they drink first. I like to have it ready for them right as they walk in the door."

What's a classic rookie mistake you see bartenders make? "Not asking for help when you don't know what's in something. Although I did have a girl ask me, 'What's in a gin and tonic?'"

Did she last long? "No, we sent her home when that happened."

Ideal night out? "Golf in the afternoon, beers at Cheapside's patio, dinner at Jonathan's and then drinks at McCarthy's and Rosebud."

Is there a drink you hate to make? "Yeah, the mojito. It takes forever to get it right, about five or six minutes. It's easy to screw up, and I don't like making bad drinks for my customers."

Favorite bar of all time? "A place called The Mansion in Miami. It's an old mansion that was transformed into a club. Very sexy place with a great atmosphere."

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