Somerville’s first legal drink after the 1933 repeal of Prohibition is said to have been served at the Court House Cafe, which today is the Landmark Bar of 20-year-old Verve restaurant. The bar’s ornate tiled floor and dark wood bar evoke olden days, but its calling card is contemporary. Bartender Steve Fette won the 2016 Iron Shaker cocktail competition, thanks in part to whimsical twists. Take his prize-clinching Sage-istic Bastard, for which he toasted fresh sage leaves to commingle with doses of Laird’s Applejack, mescal, fresh lime and cranberries. Fette carries on the tradition of creativity and craftsmanship set by N. Bryan Mack, who died in January at 46 after an award-winning 12-year tenure as Verve’s “chef behind the bar.”—JH
18 East Main Street, 908-707-8655.
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