Due to throwing my back out and some feminine issues you definitely don’t want to hear about, I was not able to attend almost all of Tales of the Cocktail this year. Strangely enough, it was going to be my very first year because I finally scored the media credentials to attend. Typical, right?
All whining aside, I was fortunate enough to spend one fabulous evening “living high on the hog” at my very first Spirited Dinner inside Coquette that was appropriately titled “Swigs & Pigs.”
The masters of these ceremonies included Chef Michael Stoltzfus who created the snout-to-hoof menu, his pastry chef Zak Miller, 12 Mile Limit’s owner and mixologist T. Cole Newton and Avenue Pub‘s owner and beer virtuoso Polly Watts…not to mention the rest of the excellent, attentive staff at Coquette.
Six delightfully pork-a-licious courses were perfectly paired wholly unique beer cocktails created specially for this memorable dinner that stretched a little over four hours. If the lighting was better that night, I would have regaled you with some serious porn and would have inflicted mouth-watering torture course by delirious course, but as it is, with my grainy cell phone pics, I’m just going to highlight my favorites.
From crispy pig ear to cracklins, I wasn’t much worried about testing my offal limits until I read “pied au cochon” on the menu. I don’t know about you, but pigs feet never appealed to me, especially when the only way I’ve seen them is packed into huge pickling jars…cloven hooves and all. As it turns out, my worries were completely unfounded and turned upside down. Chef Stoltzfus’ interpretation was a decadent, yet delicate fried patty containing all the edible tastiness on a pig’s foot, minus the hoof. Plus, to make you swoon a bit more, he served it with creamy medallions of foie gras torchon, pickled radish and a sweet slice of fig. It was easily my favorite course of the evening, although keep in mind, this was still only the best of the best.
As far as cocktails go, the one that delighted me the most was served with a different course. A plump sea scallop, blood sausage and Chanterelle mushrooms in a sweet corn sauce was accompanied by what I could easily dub my new “poison.” Dewar’s 12 Whiskey, Cocchi Vermouth, bitters and sherry vinegar were combined with a simple syrup made with an incredible ale that possibly has the longest name for beer I have ever heard. Created by Evil Twin Brewing in Denmark, Monk Suffers Serious Sugar Rush On Barbados certainly is a mouthful. I would drink this sweet, malty dark ale on it’s own, but the cocktail that Newton created from it, dubbed “Rob Base,” was spectacular.
Maybe Murphy will cut me a break for Tales 2013.