BEST BLOODY MARY - 2002
The bloody mary is a drink of solace--whether you're recovering from a simple hangover or a ruined life. It's the perfect prop for The Royal Tenenbaums' Richie Tenenbaum, the emotionally fragile former tennis prodigy (played by Luke Wilson) who is obsessively in love with his own sister. Richie is numb to the world, wearing a blank expression on his face and carrying a Big Gulp-sized bloody in his hand, celery stalk protruding above the lip of the cup. He never seems to actually drink the cocktail, but it's always present, like Linus's blanket. There are many fine places to get your own cup of red solace in the Twin Cities. We've had excellent versions in the past year at the Monte Carlo Bar & Cafe, the C.C. Club, and Costello's Bar & Grill. But top prize this year goes to the novel newcomer, Sushi Tango. Teng "Tengo" Thao's new Calhoun Square haunt serves up the drink with sake rather than the traditional vodka. The homemade house bloody mix fuses tomato juice with jolts of wasabi and white pepper. There are no celery stalks or pickle spears for this $5.25 wonder, just a simple lime for adornment. The concoction packs a wallop, leaving you feeling warm inside and fuzzy everywhere else--kinda like Richie Tenenbaum.