Local with Lisa | The Wolf’s secret to a great cocktail

A favorite Piedmont Ave watering hole shares insights and tips.

Insights, stories and interviews about homeownership and living in the East Bay
From a Piedmont native, Emmy award-winning television journalist-turned-home matchmaker, part-time radio anchor, UCLA graduate, wife and mother of 3.


It’s always delicious and probably the restaurant I come to the most.  I’m talking about The Wolf on Piedmont Avenue.  Stacy Lewis is one of the bartenders and she makes one of the best margaritas I’ve ever had.  What’s her secret?

Stacy makes the best margarita
Stacy Lewis, bartender at the Wolf, makes the best Margarita I’ve ever had

Stacy starts with a solid well tequila, like Lunazual.  She doesn’t measure, she pours for a nice long 3-count.  Then she adds a 1-count of Cointreau. Finally, she dashes in fresh lime juice and a drizzle of simple syrup.  Stacy also emphasized she uses a lot of ice. Otherwise, you dilute the cocktail. Shake and serve with a fresh lime wheel.

Margarita by Stacy at The Wolf
Margarita by Stacy at The Wolf

Tao Lei is the bar manager.  A couple weeks ago he created a brand-new cocktail and I can tell you first hand it’s delicious.  He starts with ¾ of an ounce of guava puree, equal parts simple syrup and fresh lime juice, also about ¾ of an ounce.  Next, Tao adds Mezcal de Leyendas, a clean and verdant mescal that is unsmoked and made from green agave. He uses an ounce and a half of it.  Finally, he throws in a lot of ice and gives it a vigorous shake.  Once well mixed, he “dirty dumps,” which means he keeps the ice he shook it with into a glass.  Finally, he tops it with argrumato whip (oil and cream – shaken, not whipped) and a dash of smoked sea salt.  The result is a sweet, refreshing cocktail with a tart finish. 

The Fellini-esque
Bar Manager Tao Lei, shows us how to make the Fellini-esque.

Rich Wood is the co-owner of The Wolf.  We did an interview together live on KPIX-TV cooking brussel sprouts in 2006?  2008?  Chef Yang co-owns The Wolf with Rich.  They met in 2007 when she came here from Hong Kong looking for a job working in the kitchen.  She started at Wood Tavern, working in the pantry and was eventually promoted to executive chef.   Now, Chef Yang runs the kitchen at The Wolf.

It’s always delicious and probably the restaurant I come to the most. I’m talking about The Wolf on Piedmont Avenue. Stacy Lewis is one of the bartenders and she makes one of the best margaritas I’ve ever had.
The Wolf’s Yang Peng hard at work.

Rich says they are operating around 90% since covid.  It has been a lot of ups and downs but he’s optimistic and says lately it has felt very solid.  He says he sees nothing but growth and positivity moving forward!

Rich Wood is the co-owner of The Wolf
Rich Wood, co-owner of The Wolf

Who should I interview next for Local with Lisa? If you have a suggestion I’d like to hear it! Or if you’d like to talk about real estate and want to know your home’s current market value, I’m happy to provide you a complimentary assessment. Get in touch!


For more Local with Lisa, click here.

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