So we had the Living Social obligation dinner at Le Meritage, which will expire on Sunday. I made a reservation, even though kind of the last thing we wanted to do is go out for another fancy dinner after the extravaganza of the weekend. SO I prepared myself... by having several cocktails at the Twelve Mile Limit in Mid-City, which is an excellent bar with a sketch-ass exterior and a cozy but bare-bones interior with really amazing cocktails. I first met the owner over the summer at Coquette, where he was bartending, and very well I might add.
OMG, I do believe I mentioned to his face about having gotten the "Cole Cocktail Fever" while he was at Coquette. Me=DORK ASS.
Cocktails: excellent. Had the house cocktail, the classic Twelve Mile Limit, with rum, brandy, rye, grenadine/pomegranate, and lemon. Then I got a Lexington, which was an original cocktail with... rye, ginger liquor, sweet vermouth, bitters, and an herbsaint rinse. Then the Baudin, which involved bourbon, honey, hot sauce, and lime. On the rocks. The three cocktails cost me $19 (before tip) which is just crazy cheap for such excellent cocktail craftsmanship. Such a great and unpretentious place, too. I felt right at home.
So, after cocktail hour, I fetched Tom and we went up to North Rampart Street to park the car for dinner at Le Meritage. Since we were able to do this with a minimum of drama, we ended up hitting Bar Tonique for a pre-dinner cocktail. There were many, many options, and I ended up going with one of my classic faves, the Boulevardier (which is bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari) and Tom had the Blanche DuBoise, which involved muddled strawberries and gin. Good stuff.
OK, Le Meritage! The fine dining obligation! Which was actually... very tasty and relaxed. They do an interesting wine pairing menu which is something you don't see here so much. They arrange it by wine type, and you can get a small or large plate, and you can pair it with a full or half pour of the paired wine (if you so desire.) It's cool because you can try a bunch of different stuff without it being like a Fancy Wine Dinner.
First course: I had the jumbo lump crabcake with crawfish (YUM) and cajun spices, paired with a sparkling wine: Rotari Brut from Trento, Italy. Tom had the Pan Roasted Striped Bass with chive potato cake, apple smoked bacon, and lump crabmeat paired with an 09 Valminor, Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain.
We both loved our first courses and the pairings.
Second course: I had the Seared Sea Scallop with white bean puree, andouille hash, and lemongrass brown butter paired with an 07 Millton Chenin Blanc from Gisborne, New Zealand. Yum. Loved the wine a lot. Tom had the Rabbit Tenderloin with tagliatelle pasta, pancetta, and chive paired with the 08 Bodegas Borsao "Vina Borgia" Garnacha from Campo de Borja, Spain. Tom is crazy about rabbit, in general, but he was slightly disappointed with this preparation.
Third course: I had the Duck Two Ways with fig compote, foie gras, butter potatoes, and spinach, paired with the 07 Duckhorn "Decoy" Pinot Noir from one of my favorite places on earth, Napa Valley, California. The duck breast with the fig compote was all right, but the duck confit topped with foie gras was Oh. My. God. I cannot believe that in all my days of loving confit and foie gras I have never had them TOGETHER. Because it is MADE OF AWESOME. Oh lordy.
Tom had the Venison Chop with velvet potatoes, chocolate demi glaze, and Brussel sprouts. He said he didn't know how much the chocolate sauce really added, but the venison was A-Mazing. Also amazing was his 04 Alto Landon Syrah from Manchuela, Spain. He had a Spain thing going.
Then, for dessert, we shared a Toffee Sticky Pudding which was served alongside some orange Cointreau sorbet, which was pretty damn delectable.
OK, now I have drunk all that, ate all that, and wrote about it all. Now I must go to bed!!!
PS: Confit topped with foie gras! I can die happy now.