How well do you know your local bartender? Probably not as well as you think. Meet Sean Rosenkrans from The Allegheny Wine Mixer.
If you could be a fictional character, who would it be?
Either the free-spirited but incomparably-loyal Hassan, from Meša Selimović's book, Death and the Dervish, or the clever mnemonist James Sim in Jesse Ball's Samedi the Deafness.
You're on a river in a small boat when it catches fire. Do you put out the fire or swim for shore?
Neither. If you're dumb enough to catch a vessel on fire surrounded by water, you salvage some honor and go down with the ship.
What’s something you've done recently that you’re proud of?
Hypnotized a woman well out of my league to agree to marry me. I also recently passed the advanced exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers, which was neat.
If money was not a factor, what’s one thing you’d add to your house?
A combination wine cellar/cigar humidor/smoking room/chashitsu (Japanese-style tea house)/reading room — to consolidate all my vices.
What's your favorite dinosaur?
Brontosaurus, primarily due to the sweet-ass characters in the TV series Dino-Riders. (Yes, I know it was a Diplodocus on the show.)
You will be living in solitude on a remote mountaintop for a year. What non-essential item(s) do you take with you?
A copy of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. It’s gotten me through many periods of abject solitude.
If you could instantly eliminate one aspect of the internet, what would it be?
Its capacity to know me better than I know myself.
Where do you most enjoy having a drink?
The Squirrel Cage … either in a booth with close friends and great conversation, or alone with a book at the bar, where Billy has kindly taken care of me for many years.
Who’s someone that’s had a significant influence on your life?
The two principal professional mentors for me have been Jamie Patten (owner of AWM) and John Wabeck (Poulet Bleu, etc.), who both taught me subtle and important lessons on hospitality
Aside from your keys, wallet, phone, etc., what's one thing you always carry with you?
An interminable sense of self-doubt.
What do you consider Pittsburgh's best/worst feature?
Best: The majestic splendor of its topography. (Although it’s easy to claim it’s the worst feature as well).
Worst: The endless stream of outside/suburban money that’s pricing small businesses and residents out of the market by people hoping to capitalize on others’ hard work and ingenuity.
Pancakes or waffles?
Pancakes. Definitely pancakes.
Follow featured contributor Craig Mrusek on Twitter @DoctorBamboo