Osteria Crescendo’s Beverage Director Puts Modern Spin on Classic Italian Cocktails

Industry veteran Joshua Strauss discusses the Italian-inspired drinks program he’s created at Robbie Felice’s new restaurant.

osteria crescendo barBy Emily Bell | New Jersey Monthly

A lot of the metaphorical buzz around Westwood’s new Osteria Crescendo hovers over the head of head chef Robbie Felice. But as summer approaches (think long evenings, languorous suppers, Happy Hours dripping in late day golden sunshine), our focus shifts to Osteria’s Italian-centric cocktail program and beverage director Joshua Strauss.

A passionate, skilled craftsman—and Wayne native—Strauss has an infectious enthusiasm for things with intimidating-sounding Italian names. And with his drinks list at Osteria Crescendo, he’s forging a union between scrupulously edited craft cocktail precision and romantically idiosyncratic, product-driven Italian flavors. We recently caught up with Strauss ahead of service to find out what it’s like at the helm of one of Jersey’s most exciting young restaurants, what “Italian cocktails” means in the land of The Sopranos, and what Italian bar ingredients we should fall in love with this summer.

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