PIEHOLE: VALENTINE’S TIPS, DISH AND PHO

cocktailPieHole checks in with area bartenders for some Valentine’s Day cocktail suggestions. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

PIEHOLE logoredbankgreen’s PieHole is all about local food and drink. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter, you may have missed some of these recent stories . . .

• Ladies, if your date starts looking for cheap beer and Redheaded Sluts, that’s a bit of a red flag. Bartenders from Jamian’s, David Burke Fromagerie and Murphy’s Tavern share dating insights and favorite Valentine’s Day cocktails.

• We note the positive flu-recovery benefits of a diet high in pho, from Red Bank’s Phol Le.

PieHole caught up with Dish chef Anthony Ferrando to talk about his short ribs and his favorite pizza place in town.

Follow the links to the stories, and check out PieHole’s Facebook page or follow its Twitter feed @RedBankPieHole for up-to-the-minute postings.

PIEHOLE: LOVE ON THE ROCKS… OR NEAT

cocktailPieHole checks in with area bartenders, including Heather Vena and Robb McMahon of Murphy’s Tavern in Rumson, on good libations for either side of dinner. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels medium

Valentine’s Day falling on a  Friday gives couples on the Green license to linger a little longer tonight, perhaps bookending dinner with a cocktail or two.

PieHole surveyed a few area mixologists for Valentine’s Day lessons on love and libration.

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RUMSON: GET YOUR GATSBY ON

murphys_redesignHeather Vena and Robb McMahon of Murphy’s Tavern in Rumson have wrapped up a marathon week of renovations and updates to the bar. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels medium

The first thing you notice about the freshened-upped Murphy’s Tavern in Rumson is the new sign that hangs outside the bar. Right out front it reads, proudly, “Since Prohibition,” a nod back to the basement bar’s past as a neighborhood speakeasy.

With the help of some family and friends, owners Robb McMahon and Heather Vena spent the past week putting a Prohibition-era refresh on the bar they took over nine years ago.

“We were tired of looking at the same four wall,s and finally put our own thumbprint on the place,” says Vena.

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RUMSON: MURPHY’S RETURNING TO ITS ROOTS

The repeal of Prohibition on December 5, 1933, made Murphy’s Tavern legit, but owners Robb McMahon and Heather Vena, below, plan to take the Rumson bar back to its speakeasy days.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

mcmahon vena 111413Eighty years to the day after the repeal of Prohibition, a Rumson bar that got its start as a speakeasy is turning back the clock.

Heather Vena and Robb McMahon, who’ve owned Murphy’s Tavern for seven years, plan to shut the watering hole down for one week next month to give it a bit of a makeover.

Still located in the basement of a house in a quiet residential area, Murphy’s will undergo minor cosmetic changes, including the removal of some television sets, a paint job and the installation of whiskey-barrel tables.

Those will be the most visible steps in a repositioning that’s largely about offering whiskeys and bourbons more conducive to sippin’ than slammin’, and a vibe to go with it.

“We’re going to focus on the era in which we were born,” Vena tells PieHole.

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