June 3rd, 2007
Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli is an unusually seasoned bartender for such a young man. He observes the crowd at Eastern Standard’s expansive bar in a way that’s both practical — he has to be a step ahead of his customers’ requests — and philosophical. He double-majored in anthropology and political science, and, as his friendly half-smile indicates, seems to get a kick out of the manners and rhythms of the couples, tourists, baseball fans, cocktail connoisseurs and diners-in-waiting on parade before him.
Tom’s education in food service began when he was a toddler. “I was a rugrat in my uncle’s restaurant. When I was in kindergarten, he would pick me up after school to go prep with him.” The uncle he’s talking about is Chris Schlesinger, and the restaurant was the Back Eddy in Westport and, later, the famed East Coast Grill in Cambridge. (Fun fact: Tom also grew up knowing a bit about politics; his great uncle is the late historian Arthur Schlesinger, advisor to and chronicler of President John F. Kennedy’s administration.)
At Eastern Standard, Tom has evolved into a mixologist, as evidenced by the Jaguar (1 1/2 oz blanco tequila, 3/4 oz Amer Picon, 3/4 oz green Chartreuse, 3 dashes Fee Brothers Orange Bitters, chilled and served straight up with flamed orange peel). This is a unique, sophisticated drink that belongs in any definitive modern text of great cocktail recipes.
Past bartending jobs
The Back Eddy in Westport, MA.
First drink you ever had
It had to be a sunny summertime sip of my mother’s gin and tonic.
Favorite bar in Boston other than your own
It has to be Green Street. I love their program; both Dylan and Misty are such awesome, nice, unassuming and knowledgeable bartenders. They make everybody feel comfortable and at the same time can recant amazing stories and history of drinks you have never encountered. I get excited everytime I go over there.
The drink you most like to make
Pisco Sours or the Pink Lady. Really anything with egg.
The drink you least like to make
Dirty or, even worse, extra-dirty vodka martinis.
What you drink at the end of your shift
Cold beer and Fernet.
If you weren’t a bartender, you’d beâ€¦
A bartender’s best friend isâ€¦
A great bar back.
A bartender’s worst enemy isâ€¦
Glass broken in your ice.
People drink too muchâ€¦
Bloody Marys after sunset.
People don’t drink enoughâ€¦
Drink for a hot summer day
Drink for a cold winter night
Thomas Handy Uncut.
The best thing about drinking in Boston
The rising cocktail scene. It is in an awesome stage, really fledgling, fun to watch.
The worst thing about drinking in Boston
There just aren’t enough places to go drink a well crafted cocktail.