State Smoking Bans Inspire Restaurants and Bars to Serve Nicotine Fare
Bar and restaurant patrons in New York, California, Delaware and Florida have had some months to get used to state smoking bans — but business owners are looking to make the transition a little easier with nicotine-infused dishes and drinks.
Fabio Granato, co-owner of New York City's Serafina Sandro restaurant, says his waiters offer a new tobacco section on their tradtional menu.
Granato said it provides options for die-hard smokers who want to keep their usual corner seats and still get their nicotine rush.
"Everybody was upset about the fact that they cannot smoke in New York, in the restaurants, they really were upset," Granato said.
Ban Opens Door to New Money-Making Trend
Granato worked with chef Sandro Fioriti to create the special menu which features everything from a hearty tobacco pasta sauce to a delicate tobacco panna cotta for dessert.
"It's a spice that nobody ever used into food," Granato said. "It does absolutely taste good."
Steve Podell, a fan of Sandro's nicotine gnocchi, says such dishes could replace the need for other less-exciting smoking crutches.
"For me this replaces the patch," Podell said of Sandro's gnocchi. "Don't know about others but for me it does."
If smokers are still craving a cigarette after their meal, Granato says they can try the reataurant's tobacco grappa. It's created from grappa that's soaked in tobacco leaves for 40 days, and Granato says it might be an acquired taste.
"The food is for mild smokers, the grappa is for serious smokers." Granato said.
Dropping a Drag for a Drink
Some Manhattan bar owners worked quickly to put out the fire over the ban, which calls for fines and even closure of restaurants that allow smoking. They worked to create cocktails that would quench smokers' thirst for nicotine.
Bartender Nicholas Bronte says New York City's Mayor, Mike Bloomberg, was the Suba bar's inspiration for the "nicotini."
"The inspiration of this drink came from Bloomberg directly," Bronte said. "He said no smoking allowed. So we said, 'Oh yeah. Well, we will see.'"
The drink contains vanilla, Kahlua, a little bit of tobacco tea, which is made from rolling tobacco.
"It's sort of like two in one," said Suba owner Yann de Rochefort. "You do get a buzz of alcohol and a buzz of nicotine out of a drink."
Some nicotini drinkers have described the cocktail as "spicy." Others say it has a caramel flavor.
At the World Bar in Trump World Tower, the ironically named "Smokeless Manhattan" is served up to patrons looking for a nicotine fix. It's made with port, scotch and orange bitters, and concocted to taste like a Marlboro Red cigarette.
Not Just an NYC Trend
Bars and restaurants outside of New York have also caught onto the trend.
Larry Wald, the owner of the Cathode Ray Club in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., created his own special brew of nicotinis this summer.
The trend will likely head overseas when the smoking bans finally make their way to Europe.
Ireland is expected to become the first European country to ban smoking in its pubs early next year.
ABCNEWS' Lara Spencer reported this story on Good Morning America.
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