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Cocktail Dinner, Etc.

I've had way too much fun over the past couple of days. I attended a party for my soon-to-be-married half-sister at the F&M Patio Bar (more or less the model for the Apostle Bar in Liquor), where I drank beer out of a keg for the first time in ... God, probably fifteen years. I attended a cocktail dinner at Cafe Adelaide, a gift from Ti Martin, at which I ate the only Creole shrimp dish ever to rival the Tasso Shrimp Henican at Commander's Palace. Here's the full menu, behind a cut for those who care not for matters gastronomical:

A History of the Cocktail in Seven Glasses

(With Seven Plates)

Featuring Ted "Doc Cocktail" Haigh & Executive Chef Danny "Sweet Ass" Trace [OK, OK, the "Sweet Ass" was my addition]:

The Whiskey Cocktail - 1806

Rye whiskey, orange Curacao, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters

Amuse Bouche

Grilled pecan biscotti with cane syrup and kumquat marmelade

The Champagne Cocktail - 1862

Angostura bitters, sugar cube, champagne and a lemon twist

Des Allemandes Blue Crab and Caviar

Lola Rosa greens, spring shallots, roasted Roma tomatoes and Atchafalaya Basin bowfin caviar

The Delicious Sour - 1892

Applejack, peach-flavored brandy, lime juice, egg white, simple syrup and a spritz of soda water

Louisiana Wild Shrimp Cake*

Melted leeks, oyster mushrooms and green onion crème fraîche with sauce Acadian

The Monkey Gland - 1920s

Gin, orange juice, Herbsaint, pomegranate grenadine and an orange wheel

Duck Three Ways

Duck cracklin' cornbread, Muscovy duck confit, muscadine preserves, and a duck egg-foie gras sabayon

The Mamie Taylor - 1940s**

Scotch, lime juice, spicy ginger beer and a lime wedge

Black Angus Short Ribs "Osso Buco"

Fleur de Lis cheese grits, charred pepper croustade, green tomato jam and P&J oyster forestiere

Intermezzo: The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail - Tiki

Barbados rum, lime juice, Cointreau, Falernum, and twist of lime

The Haymaker Special - Current Day

Calvados, Dubonnet, Cointreau, grapefruit, and cherry garnish

Creole Cream Cheese and Blackberry-Honey Tart

Angostura bitters, candied grapefruit and buttered caramel

It was fascinating how "Doc Cocktail" led us through the history of the cocktail, and since Adelaide has arguably the best cocktails in town, it was a brilliant place to hold such a dinner. (They don't have a head bartender; they have a "bar chef," a term that would be pretentious if the cocktails were any less delicious. It's about the only place I ever order frou-frou drinks like mint juleps and sidecars, simply because they are so damn good.) Not all of the drinks were to my taste, but they were all expertly mixed and, at the least, educational. Doc Cocktail turned out to be a fan and gave me a signed copy of his book, which I look forward to reading.

I think that maitre d' hates me like poison now, though, which I regret. I caught, or imagined I caught, a couple of "I got reamed because of you, you high-pocketed Uptown bitch" glares. I don't mind making enemies in the New Orleans restaurant world for talking about "chefs" who can't cook their way out of a paper bag, but I don't like making them for expecting to be treated with the courtesy any diner should be able to expect.

Anyway. I want to go to the Isleño Festival in St. Bernard today, but I should stay home and get some work done, but this festival has great music and food and it's important to support St. Bernard right now, but I'm sore and exhausted, but, but, but ...

You see how it is. On the tail of this whirlwind of activity, it was particularly hilarious to wake up this morning and find on prime_liquor a post from what I always think is the single stupidest kind of troll: the kind who lurks around obsessively monitoring your online presence, then makes fun of you for spending too much time online.

Yup, I do nothing but play on the Internet 24/7. That's probably why, in the past five years, I've written four novels, a novella, several short stories and articles, and half of another novella, as well as being active in St. Joseph altars and other New Orleans traditions, caring for 20-odd cats, and trying to figure out how to put my house back together. Garsh, I just can't figure out how to budget my time.

To be honest, I can see how it might appear that I spend too much time online; I generally post here at least once a day and reply to a lot of stuff on prime_liquor. However, while it may take Softy the Troll an hour or two to peck out a blog post, I generally spend between five and twenty minutes on them. Writing fiction is hard, most of the time. This stuff is child's play, and while it occasionally provokes drama (especially if you dare to so much as whisper the word "ch-ldfr--"), it's been one helluva good outlet for my stormcraziness over the past seven months.

*My favorite dish.

**My favorite drink.

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