Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bartender Lunch at Fatty Crab

April 14

Events that take place in the middle of the day always throw me off a little because for me it's an interruption in the middle of the day. Now, I mean this in good jest, because while I like to poke fun about how the hours of my desk job existence differ from the hours of the many good folks I meet, there are those with a day jobs who are up and about before noon. Still, I couldn't help myself as I wisecracked if this lunch was more like the first meal of the day for some of the bartenders attending.

Today's lunch was a little something put together by Domaine de Canton. John Cooper, founder of Domaine de Canton, told me that the ginger liqueur company's previously hosted other lunches like this in other cities.

I took a glance at the lunch menu and the number of drinks outnumbered the food. Besides the ginger liqueur's signature cocktail (Domaine de Canton, lemon, Angostura bitters), there were also four other cocktails created by Fatty Crab's Adam Shuman.

Far East Side Cocktail
Domaine de Canton, cucumber, cilantro root, yuzu

tequila, chili-infused Domaine de Canton, watermelon-kaffir, lime

gin, Domaine de Canton, green Chartreuse, kalamansi, maraschino

The Post Coital
Domaine de Canton, Cynar, Martini Bianco, dry sherry

True to its word, the event itself was a relaxed lunch atmosphere with people mingling about, talking, catching up. When we all sat down to partake in the lunch it felt like a bit like a huge family and friends get together.

I found myself seated neatly in a corner next to Damon Dyer, directly across from Jonathan Pogash and diagonal to Jason Littrell. As I took a quick glimpse down the table I spotted other familiar faces like Marshall Altier, Terence Miller and raven-haired Eryn Reece, who I bump into plenty of times, but I could never quite place where I'd met her for the first time. She figured out for me that we first met back when she worked at Bar Milano. Porter House's James Menite was also sitting one person away from me.

I had to admit, even though I'd left the office grumbling thanks to an interrupted work day, I was pretty glad to have made it. The lunch format made it feel more casual and I got a chance to catch up with people as well as see what the word on the street was without my pesky notebook getting in the way and being all rigid and...professional? Soon the conversation turned to topics of who is working where these days, who was out of town, any tentative plans coming down the pike, Who's going to Tales, and OMG ME TOO. Obviously, the bartenders had more shop to talk about than I did, but at one point I looked around the table with a mixed look of skepticism, intrigue and horror as Damon started up a half-joking (I hope?) thread of conversation with Jonathan about what bitters could possibly consumed shot style (some from experience), and how.

I knew I couldn't stay long since I had to get back to work, but funnily enough, some folks couldn't stick around because they had to be going off to work too...

...yea, I was going to try and end with some cutesy tie-in about how it's so Alanis Morisette ironic, but I can't bring myself to do it.

And now, food porn!

Sadly, the few drink photos I snagged didn't come out too well, so all I have are food pictures. Not photographed, the super peppery Singaporean Black Pepper Mussels. Oh, and there's a drink hidden in one of these pictures, so play "Find Waldo." I mean, "Find the Chupacabra cocktail."

Raw quail egg topped with dried shredded pork

Jalan Alor chicken wings (particularly good with the cocktails)

Watermelon pickle and crispy pork

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