A whiskey old-fashioned is one of those unique cocktails that is as celebratory as it is dour. It's equally at home in a tumbler at the neighbor's annual Christmas party and in the hand of a melancholic old-timer who is drinking to forget. It's the drink of choice for Don Draper and your kookiest aunt. Whatever the motivation for requesting it, many people will tell you an old-fashioned is a cocktail you should never order from a busy bartender unless you intend to make an enemy. But at Eli's East—as at its forebear, Eli's Food & Cocktails in downtown Minneapolis—the atmosphere simply begs for the bitter warmth of an old-fashioned. With majestic, button-tufted booths and lamps turned down so low we saw more than a few diners use their cell phones as makeshift flashlights, it feels sacrilegious to just order a beer (though Eli's is one of the few places serving Boom Island's excellent local brews). No, you'll need something muddled, and even when the place is unimaginably busy, veteran bartender Richy Rivera, a transplant from Eli's downtown and the designer of the Eli's East drink menu, serves up the... More >>>