By Jill Diver
Andiamo restaurant + bar has been open only for a couple of months, but already owner Jim Rogers believes his new venue will be a popular spot this winter. Rogers says he hopes to cater to the 30-and-over crowd by hosting live musicians and playing “grown-up music” (think Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble). But the music won’t be the only lure.
A lifelong resident of Newburyport with 31 years of restaurant experience, Rogers’s goal is not only to offer regional Italian food with a touch of Mediterranean influence, but also to give customers a total dining experience.
“I think of myself as a restaurateur,” he says. “Some places have a person for the front of the restaurant and a chef and bar manager, but I’ve done all the jobs in a restaurant and know what my staff is dealing with.”
Between planning menus, squeezing fresh juices, and making pasta and focaccia by hand every day, Rogers requires a staff that can collaborate with him to make Andiamo run as efficiently as possible. This is where 29-year-old mixologist Christopher Seavey comes in. Seavey, who has worked with Rogers in the past, has built a reputation with patrons, which is helping Rogers build a solid clientele.
“Once we open for dinner, the bar stools are the first to fill up, especially on weekends,” Seavey says, adding, “I like mixing and thinking about what would taste best with each specific flavor.”
That’s how the “Port Tini” came about. Seavey’s mixing began with fresh muddled limes and lemons, and soon every martini that went out had fresh muddled produce. “It got to point that [customers] would come in and say, ‘This is what I like, these are the flavors, and we’re going to leave it in your hands—we trust you,’” Seavey says. “The muddled produce helped to make the overall experience of the drink better, and I just loved making the drinks.”
The “Port Tini”: Makes 1 serving
- 3 oz. St-Germain elderflower liqueur
- 1.5 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. housemade simple syrup
- 1 oz. float of Prosecco
- 1 grapefruit wedge, for garnish