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Monday, March 18, 2013

Patron Dinner at Restaurant IPO

Pork Belly Course
Recently I had the opportunity to attend the "Dinner of all Dinners" as Chef Chris Wadsworth and Sean "Foodie Patutie" Rivera combined forces on a multiple course dinner cooked and paired with different products from the Patron portfolio.  Of course, for the most part, that meant tequila!  And as you might imagine, my memory of the meal is quite faded, so while I can show you pictures, I certainly won't remember every detail from the feast.  We got started with a shot of cream liqueur mixed with the Patron XO Cafe, a coffee liqueur made with tequila.  After a couple of those, we sat down for dinner in The Office bar above Restaurant IPO.  Our first course brought on some pork belly from Chappapeela Farms that had been brined in Patron Anejo tequila.  It came with a Reposado tequila reduction and pickled mirliton.  This dish really worked well with all the textures and flavors coming together to dance on my tongue.  It paired with a Greek infused Ultimat Vodka, a potato and grain vodka in Patron's collection of spirits.  Chef Wadsworth's infusion with cucumber and whole lot more is spot on.  I suggest getting up to Restaurant IPO and trying it! 

Greek Infused Ultimat Vodka
The next course came a delicious chilled soup from Chef Sean Rivera with a tequila based play on a Bloody Mary.  Unfortunately, I can't tell you exactly what was in the soup.  I just know I ate it all.  And I liked it.

Chef Sean Rivera's Soup with a Tequila Bloody Mary
The salad course also escapes me a bit.  The plate presented a duo of salads, one with crab and the other with roasted peppers.  Both were quite nice, as was the tequila based cocktail that came with it.  Or maybe that was the Pyrat Rum.  I had been drinking and forgot to take good notes.

A cocktail with... something

A tequila-based sorbet palate cleanser

I do know the next items that came out, although they maybe the main reason the rest of the details are fuzzy.    The Gran Patron Burdeos and Gran Patron Platinum were poured side by side.  The Burdeos is the most expensive of all Patron tequilas, retailing in the neighborhood of $500 per fifth.  The tequila is made from extremely selective agave and matured in a combination of new American and French oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months, and up to 2 years.  It is then distilled again before it is racked in vintage Bordeaux barrels.  The tequila is smooth and sweet.  It picks up notes from the wood similar to a bourbon with the vanilla and oak flavors.  It can be sipped repeatedly without the need to pucker of gasp at the taste of tequila.  I'd go so far as to say it might be the best tequila I've ever had.  Though in all honesty, the Gran Patron Platinum may have had it beat just because it actually tastes like tequila.  Really.  Good.  Tequila.  The Platinum is comes from those same high-quality agave plants that are hand-selected for sugar content.  It is triple distilled and rested in oak tanks.  The silver tequila is smooth yet carries the taste of agave without being covered up by excessive aging.  This is what the best agave in the world tastes like, and I'd never pass up a taste.  Don't shoot it though.  Both of these tequilas deserve to be sipped and enjoyed, not chased with a squeeze of lime.

Gran Patron Burdeos and Gran Patron Platinum
The main course featured a crawfish stuffed pork chop over boursin risotto with a tequila sauce and crowned by cracklins.  The chop had a well seared exterior with a juicy middle.  The spiciness of the crawfish and the rub played with the sweetness in the tequilas for a great pairing.  In fact, they both worked extremely well, showing me that tequila can be used to pair with foods.  Good to know!

Crawfish Stuffed Pork Chop
By the time dessert came, tequila ran through my blood like Rickey Henderson through a stop sign from his third base coach.  I know it had a chocolate cake with strawberry... because I have the picture below.  I'm sure there was tequila in there somewhere, but I don't really recall.  I also don't have a picture of whatever cocktail came with it, so I'm totally lost there.  But it still capped off a great meal.  Chef Chris Wadsworth and Chef Sean Rivera pulled off an fantastic dinner, and I'm glad I got to attend with rest of Team Voltron.  The folks from Glazers and Patron were excellent as well.  It definitely made me understand what makes a great tequila.

Dessert