One of the things I always enjoy at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans are the Spirited Dinners, so I was happy to see that this year Tales on Tour added an evening of Spirited Dinners in some of Vancouver's best restaurants. It was hard for our group to decide on one but finally we chose Genever Say Never held at MARKET by Jean-Georges and led by Jay Jones. I love genever so I was especially happy!
Originally Agostino Perrone, one of the bar talents at London's Connaught Hotel bar, was meant to team up with Jay, but due to a medical issue was not able to travel. Dayne and I loved the Connaught while in London last fall so we were disappointed that Agostino was not able to be there but Jay called and told me personally that he would be making Perrone's creations and I think they all turned out beautifully.
The cocktail pairings for the evening all used Bols Genever (natch). First up was the Yellow Submarine by Agostino. Bols Genever, Galliano L'Autentico, Fino Sherry and Celery Bitters. This was paired with a celeriac and lemon panna cotta. I have to say that the panna cotta was amazing and the color was so beautiful!
Next up was Jay's Kopstootje Kocktail. Kopstootje means "little head butt" and it refers to the tradition of leaning over and slurping genever from your filled to the rim glass. This cocktail used Bols Genever, Coriander, Lemongrass, Anise and Brasserie L'Achouffe "La Chouffe" Golden Ale. It was paired with juniper scented Sooke salmon with grapefruit and anise. I loved the flavor of the ale in the cocktail and the salmon was amazing!
The Stranger cocktail, also by Jay was our "main course" libation and used Bols Genever, Courvoisier VSOP Cognac, Cherry Brandy, JJ Bean Eastside Espresso and Angostura Bitters. The entree was butter poached squab and roasted carrot, coffee essence and cherry. This was my favorite cocktail of the night, it's got everything I like and it went very well with the dish.
For dessert we had sous vide pear, roasted almond milk and vanilla fromage blanc sorbet (yum). The paired cocktail was Angostino's Galliano's Cup- Bols Genever, Galliano L'Autentico, Sauternes, Lemon, Yuzu, Orgeat, Pear, Sage and Peychaud's Bitters. This one came off a bit sweet for me but I thought the flavors were very interesting and original.
All in all another fun Spirited Dinner and a chance to taste the creations of two great bartenders! If you went to a Spirited Dinner at Vancouver Tales which one did you attend?
I apologize for the (lack of) quality of my photos, there was a bit of drinking involved...