As a mixologist, few people have ever noted that Tivoli & Lee's Kimberly Patton Bragg is conventional (after all, she's the one who decided to invent a cocktail incorporating cereal milk). This Thursday, January 23rd, Patton-Bragg and Chef Marcus Woodham are using their playful approach to cuisine and cocktails at their monthly whiskey dinner, this time creating a menu that celebrates the tastes of everyone's favorite guilty pleasure: fast food.
Said Patton-Bragg, "It’s our humorous take on fast food, while making it better. For instance, we knew that there's a 'McLobster' on the menu at McDonald's in Maine, so we decided to do our take on that, using fresh, local ingredients and Chef Woodham's style."
Each of the dinner's six courses will be paired with a cocktail or a tasting of whiskey from High West Distillery in Utah.
Looking at the menu, it indeed appears to be a kick in the pants. That "McLobster" will be steamed lobster buns with "basil seeds, radishes, candied fennel, house made chips," and paired with a taste of High West's OMG Pure Rye. As an homage to Outback Steakhouse, the kitchen is offering a "Bloomin' shallot" served with a white remoulade and a rye Brown Derby cocktail Patton-Bragg fashions using candied grapefruit.
Other courses include nods to Chinese takeout ("General TSO sweetbreads with mustard green kimchi grits"), Jack in the Box ("Southeast quail salad with market greens, pickled quail eggs, chicken bacon, marinated cherry tomatoes and a sherry avocado ranch dressing"), as well as, of course, Popeyes. For that dish, the chef-mixologist pair have dreamed up a take on the beloved three-piece combo box, incorporating spicy grilled and fried rabbit. The pairing with that one is something Patton-Bragg calls "Zydecola."
“I've done that one a few times," the bartender said. "It’s basically football in a glass, and it’s hard to get it right. I infuse the High West 'Son of Bourye' with Zapp’s Cajun Crawtaters and mix that with Mexican Coca Cola. We’re actually serving that course in a box, like a real Popeye’s 3-piece combo, and the cocktail will be in a go-cup with a straw.”
A final course on the menu features odes to Dairy Queen and Taco Bell. Said Patton-Bragg, "We noticed how a lot of people like to stick their fries in their ice cream, that sweet and savory together. So we decided to do a version of the churros from Taco Bell, which are going to be duck cracklin' cinnamon twists, and you can dip those in our Rendezvous Rye and cayenne truffle "Blizzard" made with homemade ice cream. But we won’t be turning the cup upside down at the table like they do at Dairy Queen.”
The High West whiskey dinner will be held this Thursday, January 23rd, at Tivoli & Lee, which is located at 936 St Charles Ave. and can be reached at (504) 962-0909. The menu will cost $65 per person, and will be available all evening, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., alongside the regular dinner fare. While the menu will be available to all guests, the restaurant encourages them to make reservations in advance, and to mention the special menu when they do so.
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