Dinner Tales

Tales of the Cocktail is upon us again, running from July 18 to 23, and that means “spirited dinners.” As every year, there are a host of restaurants participating, so there’s almost certainly something to interest you unless you do not consume alcohol.

Here are a few of the dinners that stand out to me, in no particular order:

Boucherie is hosting a dinner sponsored by Death’s Door gin. The meal focuses on three botanicals that go into flavoring the gin; juniper, coriander and fennel. There are some people I’ve spoken to who don’t love Boucherie, but those people are both mistaken and in the minority. When Boucherie opened, it was a breath of fresh air Uptown.

I will admit to some bias, because over the years I’ve gotten to know Chef Nathanial Zimet and his business partner James Denio fairly well. They are good humans, and more importantly from the perspective of the diner, they are outstanding at what they do. I don’t get to Boucherie as often as I’d like, but every time I go I enjoy it.

I have not visited the space at 129 Camp St. since it became Pigeon & Prince, but I am tempted to make a reservation for the Spirited Dinner, because they’ll be pouring Campari, and I love that stuff. Pigeon & Prince is a Besh property; his group bought/leased it a few years ago after the ambitious restaurant Le Foret more or less imploded. It’s not open for daily operation, but I’d be hard-pressed to think of a better venue for a party, a reception, or an event like this.

Granted, I’d also be hard pressed to pay the $150/head they’re charging for the meal, but I’ve rationalized worse things.

The Grey Goose vodka dinner at Calcasieu looks interesting too. As I write, there’s no menu available, but Chef Alain Ducasse is involved, so that bodes well.

Compère Lapin is hosting a dinner, as well as a pairing with cognac. I’m not an aficionado of cognac; not because I don’t like it, but because good cognac is harder and more expensive to come by than good wine. It’s also very strong when sipped from a snifter, neat.

But mainly it’s the expense of buying excellent cognac. I’m no sure what I’d do with a good bottle of cognac.



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