Posts with tag "cocktails"

La Mezcaleria

Full disclosure: This was a tasting menu invite from the great folks at Popcorn. I’ve been to La Mezcaleria before so I can vouch that the food here is amazing.

La Mezcaleria has become a cherished spot in the Commercial Drive area where each night is packed like a Friday after work getaway. When you enter the restaurant, it has that lively buzz that marks it as the ‘IT’ place to be. Even amidst the hum of chatter and kitchen noise, you can still find an intimate spot at the bar or booth to share food and drinks.

La Mezcaleria

There were a few items that my dinner partner in crime and I decided to tackle and the first obstacle was the customized Espadin Mezcal Flight served with Sangrita and Lime. I’ve never been a straight up clear liquid type of drinker..but there’s always a first time right?


The mezcal clearly primed my palate for our appetizer – the Queso Fundido
La Mezcaleria

This now must have signature appetizer is a molten cheese fondue served in a pretty awesome hot volcanic rock molcajete which looks like a large mortar with a choice of salsa verde or Mexican chorizo..we picked the latter. The manager deftly demonstrated how to twirl and swirl the cheese into the warm soft corn tortilla. Seriously how does one critique a cheese fondue? It’s a delicious greasy mess of hot gooey melted cheese with the additional grease from the chorizo. And all you can do is failingly try to contain all that hot cheeseness in the tortilla. Fair warning that this will make you full but since I decided to gulp instead of sip my flight mezcal I didn’t face this issue.

As my main, I picked the Parillada
La Mezcaleria

It’s a hot plate of grilled beef short ribs marinated in a home made pasilla chile sauce served with Mexican chorizo, nopalitos, toreado peppers and green onions. It came with tortilla so the idea is to combine all of that up with a good serving of their homemade chilli sauce. The beef short ribs was lightly seasoned with that essential charred flavour to give it that slight smokiness. The spice and savouriness is rounded out by the hot peppers when you wrap all of that up in the tortilla.

My dinner mate ordered the wonderfully bright and delicious Tostadas De Pato

It’s a tostadas of Fraser Valley duck confit, guava, fruit mole sauce (aka manchamanteles), chayote squash and radish. The pulled duck was soft and tender with the sweet mole sauce combined. The chayote and radish gave the balancing touch of crisp, crunch and citrus.

There’s something personal and intimate with eating your food with your hands. There’s no room for pretences when grease is dribbling down your mouth and fingers, mysterious crumbs land on your lap, and laughter erupts when one puckers up while downing the mezcal (oh wait that’s me). When you enter La Mezcaleria, leave your table manners and modesty at the door and come forth with an empty stomach.

La Mezcaleria
1622 Commercial Drive
La Mezcaleria on Urbanspoon

Lise Watier and Wine Tasting

This is not your usual food and wine blog post but it does reflect my other beloved combination: makeup and wine. The Lise Watier 40th Anniversary celebration at UVA Wine Bar was an intimate event to talk about their company and products with a wine and cheese tasting session.  I’ve always liked UVA Wine Bar for their cocktails (ask for Evelyn or Mark!), the small intimate room, and outstanding PR & Customer Service (I complained about them on Twitter once and they responded back asap…total respect for that). So with all this in mind, I thought it was too good of an opportunity to  miss out.

The Lise Watier team was in town to celebrate with local Vancouver medias and bloggers the 40th anniversary of the company.

In addition, other highlights were the Fall collection Millésime reveal and the overview of Lise Watier best sellers that marked the history throughout the last 40 years.  Some of their best sellers include their Professional Correctors, Waterproof Eyeliner (which I use and love), lipstick and crayon, and the Neige Eau de toilette.  At the event, they also announced about a new eCommerce site and a focus on expanding to the United States.  All around fantastic news for this reputable Canadian company.

As part of the evening, attendees had the chance to do a quick makeover with one of the makeup artists.  Of course, I went in to get my face done and came out with a new one (kidding).

We also got very generous swag of their Millesime collection: Duo Shadow and Glitter, Rouge Gourmand, Eyeshadow Quartet, eye crayon, and a wine glass (how fitting)

I’ve been using the eyeshadow quartet and it’s really amazing.  Even after a few hours, it still stays on as if you just freshly applied it.

Now on to the good stuff…the WINE! We had tastings of some pretty stellar bottles (my below scribbles from the orientation and tasting):

Mission Hill S.L.C. Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – An excellent white blend which is creamy and smooth on the palate. Quite fruity with a hint of honey. It definitely pairs well with fish, seafood, and chicken.

La Stella Fortissimo – Another excellent local wine. It’s a harmonious blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese and cabernet franc. It’s deep full bodied red with a strong cherries presence and hints of chocolate and coffee. A good wine to bring to a cheese tasting

Cassini Cellars Syrah – This syrah is deep and intense with flavours that are more oaky, peppery, and spices-y (is that a word?)

It was a fun, well organized, intimate affair.  We were all very spoiled, had a fun time…..and I’ll probably be visiting UVA Wine Bar very soon and making myself very comfy at the bar.

UVA Wine Bar
900 Seymour St in Moda Hotel
Uva Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Bittered Sling Bistro

Bittered Sling Bistro is the brainchild of Kale & Nori’s Lauren Mote and Chef Jonathan Chovancek. It’s a cocktail food pairing competition which brings together this city’s most talented and popular bartenders together. The bartenders must create cocktails that best suits each dish of a set menu and the guests then judge the dinner.

Before the actual dinner, we are greeted in the beautiful magnificent foyer of Legacy Liquor Store (one of the best looking liquor stores in town!). We are handed with a cocktail created by Lauren and nibbled on a few hors d’oeuvres freshly made on the spot by Jonathan. The hors d’oeuvres of the night were spiced nettle crisps with black garlic, radish and and sheep milk feta then a delicate spoonful of black chickpea puree with sesame, yogurt and mint

It was an interactive and entertaining affair with the charming Lauren as hostess.  She introduced the liquor choice for the dinner was Okanagan Spirits. The effervescent and talented Evelyn Chick of UVA Wine Bar was our bartender of the night.

Side note: I lost my notes on the cocktails :-( but I do vividly recall that I felt her cocktails paired well with each dish.

The first dish that paired was the unique fiddlehead, chorizo pork belly, and pickled red mustard sabayon

As with any good pork belly, it was tender, moist, and melted in your mouth.  I think it was my first time trying fiddlehead and it’s actually a pretty hearty side dish vegetable.

The second dish of the night was the delectable halibut in smoky west coast dashi with wild rice, roasted mushroom, and quinoa crust.

The fish was flaky and delicate.  The whole plate seemed just so healthy and fresh with each bite.

And of course to cap off the night, there was dessert

It was a sweet and tart dessert of preserved quince, caramelized, lemon meringue, maple granola caramel.

Though out the night, Evelyn would talk about her inspiration for the drink and why she picked certain elements to match with the dish.  After we finished noshing on our dessert, we each got a mini survey and rated how well the cocktails paired with the food.

On April 30, the blackbox finale competition was held at Ginger 62. After months of dinners and drinks, the announced finalists were the creme of the crop of Vancouver bartending:

Grant Sceney, The Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver BC
Gerry Jobe, Raudz Regional Table, Kelowna BC
Jay Jones, Market by Jean-Georges and The Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver BC
David Wolowidnyk, West Restaurant, Vancouver BC
Evelyn Chick, UVA Wine Bar and Cibo Trattoria, Vancouver BC
Danielle Tatarin, The Keefer Bar

There was the blackbox showdown rounds where the bartenders had a mysterious ‘blackbox’/black paper wrapped liquor to choose from a table of ingredients and bitters. Then it came to the grand finale between Evelyn and Gerry!  By the end of the series and the night, Gerry of Raudz Regional Table came out victorious!

The second series of this competition starts soon! So better book your spot to have an intimate cocktail food pairing dinner with your favourite bartender.

Kale and Nori – Bittered Sling Bistro

Legacy Liquor Store

Ginger 62
1219 Granville St
Ginger Sixty Two ( 62 ) on Urbanspoon