Saturday, November 19, 2011

That's a Man's Drink

Can I just say that I have had bison tartare twice in the last 48 hours, and that I am completely happy that this is fact?

This fall, I am all about old-school meals and men's drinks.

The BF and I hit up the bar at the spanking new Four Seasons Hotel on Thursday night (and wound up there last night as well, but who's counting?), and I am now a huge fan of Wit & Wisdom.

I'm loving this trend of what I call Woodsman's Drinks, which is any cocktail with a bourbon or scotch base and some sort of sweet-bitter component. Wit & Wisdom boasts a colorful drink menu with a bevy of such goods. My favorite, thus far, is their Corn Oil cocktail which consists of a rum so aged it drinks like a scotch, port, and bitters. Delish.

We tried the bison tartare, which is made with some sort of quinoa-type heirloom grain that they resurrected from near-extinction with the help of a local farm. They were quite proud of this fact, and it is undeniably delicious, but some part of me couldn't help but roll my eyes at the bourge-ness of it all. We have starving people all over the world, and this is the future of farming science - bringing defunct grains back from near-death to sprinkle in a tartare patty at a hotel restaurant and charge $19 for the appetizer. Every now and then, the guilt that accompanies my implicit lean towards crunchy rubs up against my insatiable penchant for adventurous (read: expensive) eating and drinking habits.

Last night, the BF and a group of friends went to B&O Brasserie for cocktails and dinner, and once again found ourselves enjoying some bison tartare, this time accompanied with a fried quail egg and some carpaccio. I tell you, if there's one food item in the world I might possibly love as much as sushi, it's tartare. Ahi tuna, bison, lamb....there's nothing better than a delicious and tender cut of meat eaten raw and accompanied with some good spices. Lebanese Taverna has one of my favorite treats - the lamb tartare - which they serve with top-quality olive oil, sweet onions, garlic, mint, and some sort of incredibly rich and sweet butter. Many's the time that I have gone there and just had that as my entree. With a spicy hummus dish too, of course.

So in addition to the bison tartare last night, I also enjoyed an incredible mushroom ravioli dish and a beet salad. Beets and goat cheese are a favored combo of mine, and this fall I've been hooked on the trend of seasonal veggies in ravioli. Salt had an incredible pumpkin ravioli when we were there a few weeks ago (and Shafly's pumpkin ale on tap, which is probably the only pumpkin ale I've tried that can compete with Dogfish Head's Punk'n), and B&O's mushroom version did not disappoint.

Before dinner last, night, I tried B&O's Manhattan, which is made with port and bitters as opposed to the usual vermouth sweet backing. It was incredible, and strong, which prompted one of my friends to comment, "Now that is a man's drink."

Mmmm. Men's drinks for ladies. I'm loving it.

Root vegetables, hearty cocktails served up, and bison tartare. Fall is awesome.

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