Foodie Sunday: Old Friends, Fabulous Food and a Fun Giveaway just in time for Summertime!
I’ve had the good fortune of having my friend John staying with us all week! He’s traveling across the country with his fabulous dog Tonks to start a fabulous new life with his wife and year old son in Vermont. I’ve had a wonderful time cooking for him; we’ve had cocktails on the porch every night and we’ve also shown him several of our favorite new restaurants. Although John grew up in Cleveland it’s been quite awhile since he’d seen his hometown. We’ve had some marvelous meals and are continuing to do so; tonight we’re going to try out a brand new vegetarian bistro that just opened up about a month ago. We just got back from the farmers market where I had the most delicious Pad Thai and he was absolutely delighted with his Banh Mi from Umami Moto, one of our newest food trucks. Cleveland has finally emerged as quite a foodie’s city and it’s been a real pleasure to share it with my old friend.
Last night we ventured out to Tremont for the Art Walk, located in a trendy little neighborhood with some of the best art galleries, restaurants and vintage stores (my downfall) in town. We enjoyed the mac and cheese and Broccoli risotto at the Lincoln Park Bistro but we saved the very best for last stopping for a nightcap at my favorite bar in Cleveland, The Velvet Tango Room! In my opinion VTR is really the best bar in the city because everything is made from scratch, there's not a single mass market mixer in the place! Fresh eggs, limes, oranges , lemons and bottles of homemade bitters and wine syrup sit quietly on the bar, just waiting to be shaken or stirred into a wonderful handcrafted cocktail. Everything is weighed , poured and mixed to perfection.
There’s just no way to describe the experience and no matter how many times I’ve tried I can’t quite duplicate it at home. The Velvet Tango Room is a truly a period piece…a naughty yet wonderful speakeasy filled with film noir and smoky jazz. Spending an evening there is like going back in time to a place your mother told you about in hushed silky tones and the elegance and quality are so evident everywhere, but no more so than in their cocktails. Everything is fresh and the liquor is top shelf…each drink is made for you as you watch. The NY Times featured it as one of THE places to visit in their article “36 hours in Cleveland”!
Consequently the menu of cocktails served is incredible with everything ranging from an old fashioned Pisco sour to a Rangpur lime gin fizz which is an easy and refreshing summer favorite. Jim ordered the Moscow Mule, which featured homemade ginger beer and was presented in it’s traditional copper mug and John ordered a Brazilian (no snickers please, we already teased him too much!) which is essentially a dark and stormy with bitters added to smooth out the rum. Having so many choices can sometimes be difficult for me who wants to try a bit of everything, but last night I was very sure that I wanted MY new summer favorite ; a wicked little cocktail called the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club decadently named after the same!
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is a delicious rum based cocktail that would be wonderful sipped at your next summertime cocktail party!
Served with some wonderful appetizers like a curried chicken satay or grilled pork and pineapple the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club will make a refreshing addition served outside on your bar or if you want, serve it with a fabulous flaming dessert like Banana's Foster which is how I drank mine the other night! VTR makes the best Banana's Foster that I've ever had outside of New Orleans!
Have fun and use some colorful cocktail glasses for this one...I know that the traditionalists love a clear martini glass but I'm all about setting the mood so I think that some cobalt cocktail glasses accented with some fresh green lime wedges or skewered of rum soked grilled pineapple bits would be great. Either that or use the plain ones with some really silly Lily Pulitzer napkins...anything pink and green will do!
To make one Royal Bermuda Yacht Club the way that I love them you will need:
A couple of ounces of really good rum, nothing too sweet, I love good old fashioned Captain Morgan Private Stock which is a perfumistas dream rum...so spicy and filled with vanilla!
3/4's of an ounce of fresh lime juice
About 1/4 ounce of Cointreau
1 teaspoon of pineapple juice
1 teaspoon of fresh grapefruit juice
2 teaspoons of John Taylors Velvet Falernum - Falernum is an infusion of sugar cane syrup, rum, clove, vanilla, ginger, lime and almond that lends a delicious and spicy bite to the drink! If you can't find any, you can make your own! The Velvet Tango Room does!
Shake the whole thing over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass! Sip carefully and slowly. More than one and all bets are off! I’ve been known to even consider Karaoke after two and definitely Skinny dipping after three...........
So now that I’ve given you mine what’s your favorite summer cocktail and what do you serve it with? Recipes please! The one entices me the most gets a pack of those wonderfully silly Lily Pulitzer cocktail napkins and a fragrant treat or two to get this party started!