Thursday, April 12, 2012
Notes From . . .
. . . Le Mysterieux Festin at Henri.
• Henri/The Gage Executive Chef Dirk Flanigan teamed up with the restaurants' mixologist, Clint Rogers, and Wirtz Beverage's Eric Hay for Le Mysterieux Festin, or "a mystery dinner." The first-ever event attracted more than 70 diners.
• The unique concept involved five top local bartenders choosing from 100 "mystery" ingredients and creating a cocktail to match one of the five courses for the dinner. They had no idea of any of the ingredients the chef used for each course.
• In addition to Rogers' and Hay's cocktails, diners were treated to libations from Josh Pearson (Sepia), Ronnie Higgins (Bangers and Lace), Mike Page (Vie) and former Duchamp bartender Kris Von Dopek.
• The unique glasswear for Rogers' and Hay's cocktails were donated by local designer Felicia Ferrone—who also creates stemware for New York's Per Se and Napa Valley's French Laundry.
• The most offbeat ingredients of the evening included duck fat powder in Josh Pearson's Off A Duck's Back tequila-based cocktail; squid ink in Kris Von Dopek's gin drink; and tapioca balls in Clint Rogers' Adult Bubble Tea. They paired well with each course.
• Highlights of Flanigan's meat- and seafood-heavy feast included squid ink sauce over a dumpling filled with foie gras mousse; roasted venison with red wine reduction and cardamom rub; and "risotto" tapioca paired with mussels, prawn and lobster dressed with lobster powder.
• According to Chef Flanigan, Perennial Virant/Vie chef/owner Paul Virant was first to buy his tickets to the event. He brought with him some of his colleagues: Bill Kim (Belly Shack/Belly Q/Urban Belly), Chris Pandel (The Bristol/Balena) and Patrick Sheerin (Trenchermen).
• Expect the next Le Mysterieux Festin to take place in about two months, with Rogers accompanied by a new set of bartenders . . . and an ingredient list that should awe and shock diners.