Chatham’s reinvented Pate’s restaurant serves up specialty cocktails with fresh, approachable cuisine.
by Lisa Cavanaugh
“It would have to start with some kind of exotic tequila,” says Jamie Edwards of a drink named after himself. “It would include light, fresh juices and something extra you knew you couldn’t get anywhere else. Some sort of magic Jamie sparkle,” adds the partner and beverage director of Pate’s restaurant in Chatham.
While Edwards has not yet mixed an eponymous cocktail, he has served up thousands of bespoke beverages since he first started in the restaurant business nearly 30 years ago. “I began my career at 17 in Portland, Maine,” he says. “I worked under old souls at the cool, hip restaurants downtown. I learned all my wines, got my sommelier training. Portland is a great hub for art, music, culture, and food.”
The mixologist continues: “I started with craft cocktails before they were a thing. While I can make all the classics perfectly, I’m always on the lookout for a new one to delight my friends.”
Friends are what Edwards calls his clientele. His ultimate goal is to make every stop at his bar a festive and inclusive occasion. After a stint in San Diego’s restaurant and bar scene, Edwards returned east to Cape Cod and found himself in the high-end and high-pressure atmosphere of the Ocean House in Dennis Port. “I started on a July Fourth weekend and stayed for nine and a half years,” he says. “That’s where I met Anthony and Bernardo.”
Executive Chef and partner Anthony Silvestri and Chef Bernie Macedo paired up to reinvent Pate’s, an iconic Chatham restaurant that has served residents and summer visitors since 1957. Along with owner Tom Johnson, they have renovated and reimagined both the space and the menu. Edwards eagerly embraced the challenge of creating the perfect drink menu to delight both longtime customers and new friends.
”My drinks are about having fun. If I ever invent the ‘Jamie Edwards’ cocktail, it will be all about happiness.— Jamie Edwards partner and beverage director of Pate’s
“I love when clients sample something they haven’t had before. I try to find the perfect elements to hit everyone’s palate,” says Edwards, who likes to experiment with herbs, spices, smoky bubbles from dry ice, and unique presentations. He also insists on using top-tier ingredients. “I never shortcut, so you know you’ll get a really good drink at my bar,” he asserts. “And I make them really pretty, too!” He loves making dessert cocktails with marshmallows, fruit, and creams. “Any dessert you love—I can make it drinkable.”
With at least 35 drinks on his craft cocktail list, Edwards has some timeless favorites. “My espresso martini is a number-one gun for me,” he says. “I’ve made every version of it under the sun, and it tastes like velvet.” Just like veteran mixologists guided him along the way, he is now training his own staff. “I’m still learning all the time,” he says, “but it’s important to teach the next generation of bartenders and pass on my cocktail canon.”
While he may never stop discovering new ways to create delectable libations, Edwards guarantees that one thing remains constant. “My drinks are about having fun,” he says. “If I ever invent the ‘Jamie Edwards’ cocktail, it will be all about happiness.”