Next week is Tales of the Cocktail, and I’m completely swamped with final preparations. I spent most of today filtering spent strawberries out of Partida reposado for the Tequila por Mi Amante I’ll be serving at the “Making Your Own Cocktail Ingredients” session, along with finishing up a large batch of falernum and decanting nearly a gallon of Jamie’s Amer Picon replica that are also for the session.
But I’m doing several other events at Tales, and one well-worth mentioning is the Spirited Dinner at Palace Cafe on Thursday, July 17. I had a great time last year at the Delachaise, and I’m looking forward to this year’s dinner as well. The menu was designed by Chef Ben Thibodeaux, and the drinks for the evening’s event were crafted by bartender extraordinaire Jim Meehan, from PDT in New York.
The idea was that chef would come up with the dishes, and the “bar chefs” for the evening (I still squirm at that title, especially when it’s anywhere near my name) would craft complementing drinks. Soon after receiving the menu, though, I was still sharpening my pencil and wondering how the hell I was going to approach this when BLAMMO! Here comes Jim’s cocktail list, smoking over the e-mail and showing a level of craftsmanship and detail that made me cower under my desk.
I’m pretty damn excited to be working alongside these two talented gentlemen (and by “working” I mean I’ll be running my mouth while everyone at the dinner is swooning over the meal and the drinks), and if you’re a reader of this site and you’ll be in New Orleans, I really hope you’ll join us. The menu is below (or if you’re the PDF type, here y’go); tickets can be purchased here, but do it soon–these things do fill up.
Canton Collins (Barsol Quebranta Pisco, Canton Ginger Liqueur, Lemon Juice, Club Soda)
Passed Hors d’oeuvre
Grilled Lobster in a Cilantro and Lime Crema on congree cakes
paired with Silver Cilantro Gin Fizz (Plymouth Gin, Lemon Juice, Cilantro Syrup, Organic Egg White, Club Soda, Green Chartreuse)
Sweet Potato and Blue Crab Sopa with chili-buttered black grouper baked in a banana leaf
paired with Cafe Colada (10 Cane Rum, Lime Juice, Coconut Sorbet)
Vanilla and Black Pepper Crusted Lacquered Duck Salad with a housemade sweet corn and foie gras tamale, bitter greens and romesco
paired with Brennan’s Buck (Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Navan Vanilla Liqueur, Lemon Juice, Aromatic Bitters and Fever Tree Ginger Ale)
Cumin-Crusted Wild Boar with caramelized plantain relleno, chicharrones and chimichurri
paired with Three Leaf Julep (Cuervo Traditional Tequila, Agave Nectar, Parsley, Cilantro and Mint)
Nanny’s Persimmon Cake with spiced honey, toasted pecans and chèvre ice cream
paired with Dickie’s Derby (Toasted Pecan Infused Bulleit Bourbon, Clover Honey, Grapefruit Juice)
Chef de Cuisine Ben Thibodeaux
Bar Chefs Paul Clarke and James Meehan