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Bomb Pop

For me, venturing into Northfield was like entering Dante's ninth circle of Hell. I don't like malls or chain stores, and Ling & Louie's promise to deliver "an East meets West love story told in food" did not bode well. But the happy hour that runs from 4 to 7 p.m. and includes half-price appetizers and $5 specialty drinks had promise, and then an ebullient -- not to mention beautiful -- bartender named Deidra appeared. She was so enthusiastic that I felt I had to enjoy myself just so she wouldn't be disappointed. I asked for a drink suggestion, and she came up with the Asian Pear Martini ($7), made with Premium Moonstone Pear sake and DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker. The sake's tang helped cut the overly sweet Apple Pucker. Deidra's next suggestion was even better: a Bomb Pop ($7), which she painstakingly layered with levels of Ketel One Citroen, pomegranate juice, citrus juice and a splash of Midori for a visual that brought back memories of running toward the ice cream truck in the summer. While my evening here wasn't a love story, with drinks this heavenly, I might accept a second date.

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