Saturday, June 7, 2008

Just Another Thursday Night...

...Well, not really. But there are few other cities in the world where such events take place on a nightly basis. I implore you 4 (possibly 5?) readers to take advantage of the multitude of food and wine affairs such as the Grand Opening Gala at SOFAB. For the most part, the events are a bargain considering both the amount and the quality of the culinary and oenophilic offerings. I, for one, can say with 100% certainty that I got more than my $60 worth on Thursday night...

The Drinks
Rene experienced more variety than I did. If memory serves me well (which is unlikely), he tasted each one of the Classic Southern Cocktails. Lady Luncheon has a penchant for The French 75, while La Papa and I stuck with mint juleps all night long (which is what we started drinking at The Swizzle Stick Bar before the gala because, as we all know, it is necessary to have 3 cocktails before one of these events). I use the term "mint juelp" loosely here because the cocktail consisted of 4oz of Buffalo Trace and maybe a 0.5oz of simple syrup. But as The Pope explained, "That is how they are supposed to be made." I also had a few Abitas because, well, I like Abita.

The Food
I really think that I ate at least 15 deviled eggs from Acadiana. They were so f%*&ing good. The richness of the egg yolk mixture with the slight sweetness of the crabmeat and the saltiness of the Lousiana choupique caviar made for a wonderful combination of flavors. Plus these things were so easy to just grab off of the plate, as opposed to waiting to be served. Walk around looking for The Pope...grab a deviled egg. Need a fresh cocktail...I'll just swing on by and grab a deviled egg. Rinse. Repeat.

We decided to make a fashionably late entrance, so unfortunately some of the restaurants either had run out or were close to running out of food by the time we arrived. I watched Mr. B's serve its last crab cake while I patiently waited in line. Our group grabbed what were the last of the green tomato fried pies from Herbsaint, but I honestly cannot remember what I thought of that dish.

Bourbon House's oysters poached in horseradish cream with crispy bacon was the best dish in house, no doubt. Also up there was Upperline's duck etouffee with jalapeno cornbread and pepper jelly. The etoufee was made with a dark roux and had a hint of smokiness. Problem was that, in my opinion, it is too freaking hot outside to eat etoufee. This is the same reason that I chose to pass on trying the shrimp stew, gumbo z'herbes, and duck piquant. I did, however, devour the shrimp and grits from Louis's at Pawleys. And coincidentally, we walked out with Louis himself and his wife. While Rene and Lady conversed with Mr. Osteen, I talked with his wife Marleen about our mutual love for Charleston. Great people.

So I stuck with mostly cold dishes throughout the evening, and I was not disappointed in the least. Thus, my staples were the aforementioned deviled eggs, shrimp arnuad (which I love because of the sharpness of the remoulade), and creole tomatoes topped with (yes, more) crabmeat and choupique caviar doled out by Bourbon House. Oh, the sacrifices one must make for the climate we live in.

Top Porkographic/Gluttonous Moments

1) Taking way too much pleasure out of eating smothered pig cheeks over grits from Cochon.

2) Watching Robert Peyton react to Rene eating strips of pork skin (personally sliced by Chef Raymond Toups) which resulted in grease dripping all over his white linen suit.

3) The following conversation between the group of us and Chef Stephen Stryjewski:

Rene: Dude, your cholesterol must be through the roof. Your pork product intake for the week is probably higher than most people's for the year.

Stephen: Haha, yeah. My wife was watching some show (or reading some book) and she got all freaked out and made me go to the doctor to get checked out. Came back as only 181.

Pope: I think someone forgot to "carry the one" when they were doing the math. My cholesterol is 260.

Stephen: Jesus.

Pope: Yeah. Can I get another one of these pig cheeks? Peter, grab me another mint julep if you pass by the bar. Tell Chris McMillan it's for me. He'll know what that means.

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