Arts & Entertainment

Bartender at Somerville's Verve Bistro, Bar & Lounge Voted the Best in New Jersey

Steve Fette, bar man at Verve Bistro, Bar and Lounge in Somerville, is the winner of the 2016 Iron Shaker award as the best bartender in New Jersey.

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Steve Fette, respected mixologist and bar man at Verve Bistro, Bar, & Lounge, has won the coveted Iron Shaker Award as the best bartender in New Jersey.

Working behind the classic turn-of-the-century bar where the first drink was served in Somerville following Prohibition, Fette joins N. Bryan Mack, who has gained both national and statewide recognition demonstrating his talent at the Star of the Bar Mixology Competition International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event 2014, as a finalist in the "Best Bars Competition" in 2015, and at the 2015 Iron Shaker competition.

Fette won the 2016 Iron Shaker finals at Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City. Iron Shaker is the statewide cocktail competition that annually recognizes New Jersey’s best bartender. Leading up to the finals were regional competitions held in New Brunswick, Hoboken, and Morristown.

Sign Up for E-News

Fette outlasted seven other competitors over five rounds of cocktails judged by a panel of three experts while also being sampled by attendees. His cocktails included “Never Doubt an Eagle Scout,” with wild Maine blueberries, bourbon, amaro, lemon and Angostura bitters for the introductory punch round; “Cinderella Story,” a twist on the Arnold Palmer that he served out of a golf bag in homage to Caddyshack for the movie round; “Sagistic Bastard,” for which he toasted sage and mixed Laird’s Applejack, Xicaru Mezcal, fresh lime and cranberries for the cranberry round; “Perfect Game,” the baseball-themed beverage that required judges and drinkers to eat a Cracker Jack before sipping; and “La Femme Fatale,” a mixture of Bluecoat Gin, St. Germain, sherry, clarified grapefruit juice, maraschino and Butterfly pea extract designed to evoke the beauty of Miss America.

Fette credits the work environment at Verve for his success in the competition, noting that the bar men and women are given the freedom to create.

“Everyone at Verve considers the creation of both food and cocktails an art,” he explained. “We enjoy the freedom to express ourselves and use our knowledge, talent, and experience to create memorable visits.”

At only 28, Fette brings two decades of experience with him to the job, including stints at the elegant Pluckemin Inn in Bedminster and Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, where he oversaw seven bars. He began his “career” supporting the efforts of his grandfather who regularly entertained guests to a point where he needed the help of his seven-year-old grandson.

Verve is recognized as the home of the perfect cocktail. “We pride ourselves in making the perfect cocktail,” said owner Rick St. Pierre. “The awards earned by our bar men and women are proof that we are focused on making the perfect Martini, the perfect Manhattan, and an ever changing menu of perfect specialty drinks.”


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News



AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Upcoming Events


Tue, May 22, 6:30 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...



Wed, May 23, 6:30 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...



Thu, May 24, 11:00 AM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...


Hillsborough Teen Prevails in Chess Match Against Somerset Freeholder Levine

May 16, 2018

ROCKY HILL, NJ – Somerset County Freeholder Brian Levine had his hands full as he matched wits with 10 young chess players in a simultaneous tournament at the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library.May 14.

Levine’s opponents, ages 6-18, proved to be a tough match, with 7-year-old Grace Liang stumping Levine several times before he prevailed.

Some matches took as long as three ...

Valairco Heating and Cooling Celebrates 50 Years of Service; Dedicated to Keeping Your Family Comfortable

May 9, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Valairco Heating and Cooling is celebrating 50 years of serving the central New Jersey area and beyond. Kevin McHugh, owner and third generation of this family run business, takes pride in a job well done and Valairco’s commitment to providing the best value around through stellar workmanship, industry leading warranties, and affordable prices and maintenance ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...