Election Drinks and Dishes: Red or Blue, It’s Up to You

Every four years, autumn shepherds the start of election season. As the leaves turn colors, so do cocktails and specials in restaurants around the country. In honor of that and National Voter Registration Day, we present election drinks and dishes that embrace the spirit of the campaigns and the candidates. Unsurprisingly, you’ll find many of these specials at restaurants in our nation’s capital.

SideBAR, New York, New York
This Union Square sports bar is game on with a couple of fun presidential candidate cocktails. They are: Hillary Clinton’s Secret Server, an Apple Martini which gives a nod to her stint as the Big Apple’s Senator but which also features blackberries because, well, you know. And, wait for it…The Donald Drumpf, a towering Apple Pie Punch (Amaretto, Sour Apple Pucker, and Goldschlager with gold flakes, and served in a Mr. Potato Head.) The cocktail is priced at $50 “because like Trump, it’s ‘huuge’,” says a restaurant spokeswoman. Oh dear. Make a reservation at SideBAR.

Election Drinks and Dishes

Del Frisco’s Grille, Hoboken, New Jersey
Del Frisco’s has debuted political burgers — The Donald and The Hillary — nationwide in its 21 restaurants “to give diners the chance to enjoy a couple of classic American burgers before moving to Canada.” Order The Donald and you’ll get a well-done prime beef patty (he’s known to order steaks well done), aged cheddar cheese, heirloom tomato, and Bibb lettuce on a gold bun served with a side of tiny pickles. The Hillary burger is classified — Grille guests can send an email to TheHillary@dfrg.com to receive burger details. Oh boy. Make a reservation at Del Frisco’s Grille.

Election Drinks and Dishes

FireLake Grill House, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The bar team here crafted a cocktail menu inspired by this year’s presidential mix: Feel the Bern, (Illegal Mezcal Joven, fresh lime juice, Sprite, and sriracha hot sauce). For the Republican presidential candidate “that always must have the last word,” FireLake came up with the Last Word, pictured, (J. Carver Grimm Farm Gin, Green Chartreuse, Luxardo, and fresh lime juice.) And, as a shout out to Ted Cruz being born in Canada, there’s the Maple Leaf cocktail with Evan Williams Bourbon, lemon juice, and maple syrup garnished with a cinnamon stick. Make a reservation at FireLake Grill House.

Election drinks and dishes

The Grill Room, Washington, D.C. 
Executive chef Frank Ruta of this D.C. politico favorite restaurant in the Rosewood Hotel has curated Red and Blue Plate prix-fixe lunch specials. A sampling: from the Red Menu, you’ll find the Texas-Style Pulled Pork Sandwich on Texas Toast. From the Blue Menu, check out the Maine Lobster Salad. And bartenders Cecilio Silva and Ismael Barreto crafted three election-themed cocktails to pair with the lunch specials — Thyme to Decide (gin, honey syrup, lemon juice, and blackberries, garnished with a thyme leaf), The Green Card (vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, and Blue Curacao, garnished with blueberries and lemon twist), and Pacific Blue (Mescal, honey, lime, ginger syrup and garnished with a lime wheel and basil leaves). There’s also weekly informal polling to see which cocktail gets the popular vote, too. Make a reservation at The Grill Room.

Election drinks and dishes

Lincoln, Washington, D.C.
This restaurant is a shout-out to Honest Abe, and if you cast your order for one of the presidential cocktails through Election Day, your sip preference will be tallied on a blackboard at the bar. The results of the cocktail voter poll are updated every Friday on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Drink choices include The Trump Tower, a smug twist on the classic Negroni with Earl Gre- Infused Absolut Elyx, Aperol, and Dolin Blanc. Hillary’s Inbox features nonclassified ingredients — Absolut Elyx, Drambuie, Blue Curacao, Orgeat syrup, lime juice, and soda. Make a reservation at Lincoln.

Election Drinks and DishesContinue Reading

Flavors of the Forest Cocktails: 7 Sips Offering a Taste of the Trees

Bar stars are looking to the wilderness for some of their most innovative new cocktail flavors. They are using a variety of tree components – from wood and bark to flowers and branches. Here are 7 flavors of the forest cocktails branching out from tradition to offer tipplers a taste of the trees.

Betony, New York, New York
Juniper berries have long been used as an accenting component, spicing up brines, providing a botanical backbone to gins, and adding a forest-y flair to game dishes. However, it’s unusual for the coniferous tree to provide the focus flavor. The Grand Cru Cobbler defies convention by featuring it three ways: juniper needle-infused gin, juniper oil, and juniper berries. Make a reservation at Betony.

Flavors of the forest cocktails

Cucina Enoteca, Newport Beach, California
These days, inspired bar types are infusing everything into bourbon – from bacon and tobacco to espresso and basil. Bartender Tucky Dias roots his Arbor Manhattan in tree bark bourbon. He rounds out the woodsy concoction with Amaro Averna, Antica sweet vermouth, and a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Make a reservation at Cucina Enoteca.

Flavors of the Forest Cocktails

American Cut, New York, New York
Order the Plank Smoked Old Fashioned and you’ll get a show, too. After mixing together bitters, simple syrup, and Bulleit bourbon, the bartender quickly torches a maple plank. As the wood smolders, a glass is turned upside down over it. With the smoke still lingering, a large ice cube is added to the glass and the cocktail is poured in with a showy flourish. Make a reservation at American Cut.

Flavors of the Forest Cocktails

Sable Kitchen & Bar, Chicago, Illinois
Spruce up your G&T routine. The Spanish-style gin and tonic – served in a goblet, of course – features Beefeater 24 gin, Q tonic, and fresh cranberries. The cocktail is completed with a few small boughs of spruce tips to reinforce its herbaceous tones. Make a reservation at Sable Kitchen & Bar.

Flavors of the Forest Cocktails

Annex at GreenRiver, Chicago, Illinois
Look into the bottom of the Delicate Refusal and you’ll see a pickled sakura blossom. Over the pink cherry tree blossom, mixologist Julia Momose pours a complex mixture of sotol, tequila blanco, fino sherry, pamplemousse, apricot, verjus blanc, and Peychaud’s Bitters. The resulting cocktail finely balances saline, smoke, acid, fruit, and herb notes. Make a reservation at Annex at GreenRiver.

Flavors of the Forest CocktailsContinue Reading

9 Milk and Cookies Desserts: A Childhood Classic Reborn

Growing up, milk and cookies were one of our favorite treats. We loved dunking the warm rounds into a glass of cold milk and then nibbling away at the softened edges. It was always a joy to hit a mother lode of melted chocolate chips or crunch into a pecan like we had discovered treasure. Luckily, we haven’t had to give up this simple pleasure just because we’re older and, debatably, wiser because chefs are reviving the childhood classic. Here are 9 milk and cookies desserts to make you feel like a kid again.

David Burke Kitchen, New York, New York
If you’re in the mood for dessert and a drink, order the cookie plate. A seasonal selection arrives with rum-spiked coconut milk. Don’t worry, kiddies, they’re happy to leave out the hooch, so you can enjoy it as well. Make a reservation at David Burke Kitchen.

milk and cookies desserts

Cavatina, Los Angeles, California
Fresh-from-the-oven cookies spotted with sweet squares of chocolate get a dusting of sea salt. The finishing touch helps amplify the chocolate’s deeper flavors while taking the edge off the sugar rush. To help wash down the treats, they arrive with a petite pitcher of cold milk. Make a reservation at Cavatina.

Milk and cookies desserts

Summer House Santa Monica, Chicago, Illinois
Cookies and milk – now in milkshake form. Pastry chef Erin Mooney liquidates the traditional dessert by blending together vanilla bean ice cream with malted chocolate chip cookies and chocolate fudge sauce. The finished product requires a straw, a spoon, and a sweet tooth. Make a reservation at Summer House Santa Monica.

milk and cookies desserts

Untitled, New York, New York
Spotted with gooey chunks of dark, milk, and white chocolate, this hefty cookie has a crispy exterior that crunches when you bite into it. Believe it or not, this toothsome treat is gluten-free as it’s made with Thomas Keller’s Cup4Cup GF flour. It arrives with a sidecar of whole milk from Five Acre Farms. Make a reservation at Untitled.

milk and cookies desserts

Macon Bistro & Larder, Washington, D.C.
Our new favorite phrase is “bourbon milk.” A small bottle of the bliss-inducing beverage comes with a pair of straws and two cookies so you can share the dessert with your date. Or, you can hog the whole thing for yourself and pretty much guarantee the two of you won’t be going out ever again. Make a reservation at Macon Bistro & Larder.

milk and cookies desserts

Harvest Table, St. Helena, California
Whenever we’re fortunate enough to have a root beer float, it reminds us of the sweltering summer days of our childhood. Pastry chef Andrew DiClementi brings those memories rushing back with his version made with sweet cream ice cream and Boylan root beer, which comes with chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies. Each mouthful makes us feel like we’re nine years old all over again. Make a reservation at Harvest Table.

milk and cookies dessertsContinue Reading

In Season: 10 Top Corn Dishes to Order Now

Corn is summer’s comfort food, especially as the sunshine season comes to an end and you want to hang on to its best flavors. Fresh corn on the cob with drippy butter and those plastic metal pronged holders is a #ThrowbackThursday childhood food memory for sure. Fast forward to, well, now, when you’ll find corn has husked its boring boiled reputation and reinvented itself in some dishes you may not  recognize — but will surely want to get to know. Here are 10 top corn dishes to order now — from the classic cob to more creative takes on the yellow summer goddess, such as spicy elote (translation: Mexican street corn).

Slate, New York, New York
Chef Darryl Harmon has introduced Elote to his late summer menu — corn with Ancho-lime spiked sauce and cotija cheese. The Jersey corn comes to this Flatiron District restaurant from a family-owned-and-operated New Jersey farm. Sweet. Make a reservation at Slate.

Top Corn Dishes

The Clam, New York, New York
Think corn-on-the-cob for dummies. It’s called Charred Sweet Corn Off the Cob — basically, it’s sweet corn (taken straight off the cob), charred, and seasoned with some chili, parmesan and a squeeze of lime. Easier to eat and no more corn-stuck-in-teeth Instagram shots. Make a reservation at The Clam.

Top Corn Dishes

Sarsaparilla Club at The Shelbourne, South Beach, Florida
This just-opened American Dim Sum restaurant in the Shelborne Wyndham Grand Hotel South Beach honors the iconic late-summer treat with its Corn 4 Ways dish. It’s grilled sweet corn, cornbread butter, cornbread crumbs and lemon popcorn — a ménage a quatre. Make a reservation at Sarsaparilla Club at The Shelbourne.

Top Corn Dishes

Bleu Boheme, San Diego, California
Executive chef-owner Ken has debuted a twist on traditional pot de crème to his menu, adding fresh corn and blueberries to the French classic. The corn is roasted, the cobs are shucked, and the kernels are pureed and added to the custard mixture. It’s then crowned with fresh blueberry preserves. Voila! Make a reservation at Bleu Boheme.

Top Corn Dishes

Marrow, Indianapolis, Indiana
The elote at this Indy restaurant is dolled up with ancho mayo, cobija chili, and lime. And, by the way, Indiana makes the top-five-states-list for mass production of corn and this year’s crop is the second-largest corn crop in Indiana history (and the season is still youngish.) Now you know. Make a reservation at Marrow.

Top Corn Dishes

Therapy, Las Vegas, Nevada
The Fire Roasted Street Corn here is great therapy for end-of-summer blues. It’s made with fire-roasted corn, obvs, and seasoned with lime aioli, chili pepper, and parmesan cheese. The fresh corn comes from Simoni & Massoni Farms out of Byron, California. Make a reservation at Therapy.

Top Corn DishesContinue Reading