Well, last night, I went downtown with a friend of mine to a little French Bistro (Bearnaise) after a drink on the deck discussing where to go for dinner. Roasted marrow bones (sounds disgusting, tastes fantastic), Duck Confit, and Frites. Charming and delicious and the service was good. Bartender needs to listen more closely to the waiter when they say Ginger Beer, and make sure he doesn’t tell the wait staff he is out of Orange Bitters in a bar known for its cocktails. Send a runner out to buy more and don’t disappoint your customers.
The drink was a Gravelly Frenchman (which is how you sound next morning after a few of these) – Serves 2
3 shots from the big end of the shot measure of a good balanced bourbon. Taylor, Bulleit, or Basil Hayden are pretty good. Slice a fresh orange in half and take two thin slices across the wheel for your garnish. Put some ice in your shaker, put in two droppers full of a good orange bitters. (I like Bittercube), the bourbon, squeeze in both of the leftover halves of orange and a good squirt of blue agave nectar. Shake it until the shaker cools down and starts to hurt you hand a little bit. Strain into two glasses. Open two Reeds Extra Ginger Beers and pour them in. Float the orange wheel on top, and add a couple more drops of orange bitters on top of each of the orange wheels. Sip. Pour in some more ginger beer. Sip. continue until the ginger beer and your drink are gone.
These are good for around 5 O’clock while you are having an animated discussion about where to go to dinner.
Now, on Saturday nights in Washington, the Hipsters go out to the watering holes and stand around in the fashions their maxxed out credit cards have purchased for them, and nurse the same fucking drink for a few hours while chattering and taking up valuable bar and table space. Let’s just say I’m not happy with The Partisan right now. Its a new eatery with connections to Red Apron, a local charcuterie/bolangerie downtown in one of the Tony-ier sections of DC. My baggy shorts and CK polo shirt likely didn’t get me close enough to bankruptcy to impress the hostess, so NO TABLE FOR YOU OR YOUR FRIEND. BAH.
What many restaurants don’t realize about catering to the young, hip, and broke-ass crowd, is the regular customers actually support your restaurant, or we would if we could ever get a chance to taste the food, are displaced by the younger broke-ass set who aren’t making you money. You probably want to get tables to those buying the expensive drinks and desserts that increase your margins. Consider that next time, and maybe give a wait time and turn your tables faster to get more paying trade in. This is said by two tired looking folks who buy food from your Union Station location, but may shift all of their business up the row to Harvey’s because of a bad experience on a Saturday night, mmmmkay?
That said, next morning, I opened my mouth, and Bourbon Voice came out. It sounds scratchy, and a little French (hence the improvised name for the above referenced cocktail). I was considering laying in bed all day, affecting some French-ness, and considering taking up the nasty habit of smoking Gauloises, when a friend stopped in for coffee and to take away some propane tanklets that were purchased for a camp stove that turned out to be completely wrong for the stove in question.
I had Assam, two kinds of mint, chamomile, and local honey. He had coffee, local milk, sugar, and a nice float of Kentucky Bourbon vanilla extract. I stepped away from my impulse to play Billie Holiday, as she is capable of inducing a deep blue sulk on my part, dialed up Django Reinhardt on Spotify, and went to work on the Sunday Afternoon Experiment.
Today’s experiment (finally. God, would he get on with it, self important bastard) :) was using some bits and pieces from the cupboard and fridge. I bought some hulled flaxseed a while ago and it sat in my cupboard taunting me with its lovely packaging and ability to get caught in every hard to reach tooth in my mouth. In the fridge were those last three bananas. They went past yellow to black and started to make the fruit flies happy and me extremely unhappy. An egg and an egg yolk, and a cup of whole wheat flour, a little corn starch, and 3-4 teaspoons of sugar, and I had what looks like muffin batter. No muffins. Meh. So I got out the whisk, added a pinch of salt and whole milk until the batter looked thin and promising.
Crepes. No influence from last night’s dinner or the guitar jangling in the other room. No?
So I heated up the crepe pan, dropped in some peanut oil and threw out the first one (as you almost always have to) and made some nice but very dark crepes.
Back into the fridge, there’s a roasted chicken (there’s always a roasted chicken in my fridge), so off comes one half of a breast to be shredded between two forks, while a pat of butter and some finely diced shallots work in a little skillet. The shallots brown, the butter bubbles. In goes a little cream. Stand back. The butter could get excited and try to make you into one of those strange people who draws on their eyebrows each day. Reduce the heat and let the sauce reduce, then toss in that chicken and maybe some fresh herb chiffonade (sp?), (that’s a bunch of fresh herbs balled up tight and run through a bunch of times with a wickedly sharp knife).
I had some leftover tomato salad. I also had an avocado crema (fresh avocado, Crema Salvadorena, a little agave syrup, some key lime juice, and a little greek yogurt, whipped until it looks like one of those facials women buy for $50). There was the remains of a bottle of champagne, so I had that topped off with triple sec, and a raspberry reduction that was also in the fridge.
I ate, and took obnoxious photos, and bragged on Facebook. You know, like we do.
And wished there was someone to share it with for about five minutes until I realized that would mean less food for me, and said, “FUCK. ALL. OF. THAT.” and finished my brunch.
You know us Gays love the Brunch. Yes we do.
Up top are a couple of the obnoxious pictures.
I’m going for a nap now. :)