Saturday, August 6, 2011

An evening at Luce & Hawkins - Smoke, Fire and Acid

Prelude: The ambiance at Luce & Hawkins is the perfect balance of elegance and comfort, a style that permeates the entire experience here. Attention is paid to every last detail, right down to the music selection. Overheard chef Keith Luce who was walking through, "This isn't right." And he changed the music to low key techno/funk fabulousness. I asked about this later and he told me that he doesn't like to use vocal music much because it distracts the guests from their experience with their meal and with each other. I love it that he thinks about this kind of thing. 


I walked into a busy Luce's Landing and prowled around for a seat for a few minutes, ending up in one of the massive cushy wingback chairs near the bar, now praying for a cocktail. (I can quit whenever I want) Heh. I wind up sidling up to the bar to get a drink. I look at the new beverage director Sarah (Who is fantastic by the way. Go meet her.) So she looks me in the eye knowingly and says to me, "You need a beverage." To which I reply smiling, "I NEED A BEVERAGE!" Very happy we are on the same page. 

So I get this thing I keep telling myself I'm going to try: 

            "Fire and Smoke"

This cocktail is made with Los Nauales Mezcal, cucumber slices, lime and Sriracha. COME TO MAMA! (dying to say mamacita, but, well...) It had a smoky mezcal nose with a hint of cucumber peering through the smoke. The palate was just crazy. Good crazy. The first thing I experienced was the heat of the sriracha warming the back of my throat, then stinging my lips, then the heady smokiness of the mezcal. LOVE IT!

Now I want to start playing with the concept. Maybe some more citrus? Orange? Sweeter? Bacon infused vodka? OMG. bacon. Or maybe some lemongrass or lemon verbena? Cilantro? Ginger? I will get my ingredients very soon and let you know what happens with my experiment.


Cue the record screech...

                            I see this on the menu:

and well, now I'm obligated.

I only just liked the Gotham Project wine because it said it was dry on the menu but actually they had an off-dry on keg. Love the keg concept and the wine ended up growing on me, but just not what I prefer in a riesling.


My notes on the Dönhoff consisted of: "Now THAT's what I'm talkin' about!" It is dry with a bracing acidity and just what I want when I reach for a riesling.

I did not like the Paumanok riesling at first either and this made me sad. I REALLY like Paumanok's wines... A LOT. But this one also grew on me. Lovely apricots and white flowers with a delicate sweetness. I definitely recommend it.

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