Friday, December 26, 2008

NYE at Alembic

Oysters 3 ways
-fried with meyer lemon aioli
-broiled with bernaise
-raw with green apple gelee

Tuna pops with ponzu and wasabi tobiko

Dungeness crab salad with winter citrus

Foie gras torchon, quice, pan de mie

Poussin, lobster, butternut squash, black trumpet mushroom

New York steak, roasted bone marrow, garlic confit, brussel sprout

more items tbd, tba, fyi

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Loud Fast Rules...

So I have been doing some serious thinking about punk rock lately...
The thing is, I sort of grew up with it, still listen to it, and try to maintain something of that ethos in this bar/restaurant enterprise. Putting a finger on how, or even why, that does or should manifest itself in our work is a bit tricky. I might be setting some little traps for myself, but what the hell, wouldn't be the first time.
I started in this industry in high school, about 20 years ago, washing dishes for a little cash. I would spend my little fortune every two weeks on guitar strings, 45's, copies of Maximum Rock and Roll (still alive and kicking ) and the occasional pack of Pall Mall's. I am pretty sure a great many careers started in much the same manner.
I still get a charge listening to those records, looking at the posters, remembering the shows, and the sense of community that came with it.
Really, it's not all that different being so involved in the restaurant or bar scene. There are venues, a written discourse, fans and fanatics. There are iconoclasts and icons, boy bands and garage bands etc...
So what does 'punk' mean to a restaurant? Where is the analog?
Punk isn't always pretty (ask anyone who ever stood near the stage at a Jesus Lizard show), but it is a spectacle, an experience. I can say the first time I ate a slimy, live sea urchin, right out of its spiny shell, with just a little olive oil and lemon was nearly as much a revelation as the first time I put a Ramones cassette on in my bedroom.
Punk has an urgency, like something to say or do that can't wait. One, two, three, four.
Punk has an attitude, it's a bit snotty, not afraid to throw up the middle finger. Of course, I would not advocate flipping "the bird" to a patron. I do advocate being a bit provocative, of doing it "your way", and being flexible if not completely indifferent to rules and conventions.
Finally, DO IT YOURSELF...
If you can't find something, or buy something, make it. Enough said.
I'd like to find more of that spirit. 
Anybody got thoughts?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And you don't stop.....

December charges on, leaving far to little time to rest, recover or report here in the Alembic trench.
To recap...
Last Sunday was the re-launch of our Savoy cocktail night. Mr. Erik Ellestad was on hand, shaking and stirring with myself and the rest of the staff. A good time was had by all, big thanks to everyone who came by, to Erik for throwing down with us, to Jennifer at Small Hands for making some great syrups, and to our staff for being game. It is indeed challenging to throw out a 900 cocktail list for the night, but it does throw a little variety into the grind.
So much fun, in fact, that we are currently trying to plan it out as a monthly affair. I'll keep y'all posted on the dates when Erik and I work it out.
Last night, I had the pleasure of pairing some cocktails for the Three on Five event at The Fifth Floor restaurant. Emily Wines brought some muscle to the table, Craig from City Beer store brought some surprising flavors and finesse, and I brought some... ummm....booze. There was a bit of conversation about pairing philosophy, flavors and textures, and being a competition, some voting.
In the end, Emily held on to her well deserved title for overall best pairings. Though I did win the best pairing for 2 of 5 dishes, as did Craig. Great chance to try some new stuff. I will post the menu when I get a little more time.
This afternoon the chefs and I sat down to work out a very special NEW YEARS EVE at Alembic.
The menu is being finalized, but think "dressed up" small plates. Foie gras, lobster, oysters, caviar, and of course bubbles and cocktail pairings to start of the night right.
It's gonna be a black tie affair for us (you, however, come as you are.)
We will be accepting reservations for the first seating of the evening (5 to 6pm) though there are not that many seats, so grab 'em now. E-mail me with any questions or requests.
After that, it's on a first come basis.
Thats it for now, I gotta get back to work before the staff realizes I am not out back having a smoke.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What we're reading...

Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest places. I don't know where this menu is from, but I want to eat there.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sutton Supper, Savoy Sunday, Seriously....

Doesn't alliteration make you want to drink and eat?

So for those of you unfortunate enough to miss last Sunday's pork and cork fest at Alembic (or those fortunate enough to have something "better" to do), it was pretty incredible. We filled up fast, ran full tilt around the dining room slinging plates of pig and glasses of Suttons wine. The biggest dissappointment of the afternoon was that upon pulling out my camera to catch a few shots, I discovered a dead battery. You'll just have to take my word for it, everyone was very good looking.

I look forward to doing more of these, hope y'all can make it.

On to next Sunday....


Starting at the respectable hour of 3(ish)pm, we tuck away our paltry list of house cocktails and throw down the Savoy Cocktail Book in it's place. You thumb through the book and pick a drink, we thumb through it and do our best to make it.

Joining me for the occasion will be none other than Mr. Erik Ellestad from the Underhill Lounge blog, who has been "Stomping through the Savoy" for some time now.

I look forward to seeing any and all of you.



Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday....

Well, it's already been a busy week but we've got some cool stuff coming for the weekend.
First, I'd like to thank the people at Canton for putting together a cool competition event last Monday night at Le Colonial. All the bartenders made some incredible cocktails, it was great to try them and hang out with some friends. I'd also like to congratulate Marco from Clock Bar, who along with myself, will be moving on to the finals in St. Martin in February. Special thanks to Owen who loaned me a julep strainer.
Come by and try the Promissory Note cocktail (tequila, dry vermouth, Canton ginger liqueur, honey and absinthe).
FRIDAY!!! 75th Anniversary of the repeal of prohibition
In honor of this event, I will be pairing classic cocktails with our dinner menu. Should have those posted later this afternoon or early tomorrow.
Now for the real meat:
This Sunday, Dec. 7th, 3pm till it's gone.
Sutton Sunday Supper at Alembic
Boudin blanc, fennel slaw, violet mustard
Headcheese, romesco, parsley, pickled shallot, almond
Bacon wrapped rib and loin roulade, tamarind braised cabbage
All paired with Sutton Cellars handcrafted wines.
Fifteen dollars each.
No reservations necessary, just come on in and join us.