Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hotel Indigo Hosts Local Bloggers and Food Writers

Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to a blogger and food writer dinner at Baton Rouge's Hotel Indigo.  The boutique hotel sits on the corner of Lafayette and Convention downtown and features 93 stellar guest rooms.  The entire hotel is filled with amazing photographic prints of scenes from around the Red Stick which gives the space a great local feel.  Next to the lobby on the first floor sits the King Bar & Bistro, named after the old hotel that previously occupied the site in the first half of last century.  The space opens as a coffee shop and for breakfast daily at 6 am then transitions to lunch and to dinner without ever closing.  Perhaps most exciting is the happy hour with tapas from 4-7 pm on Monday through Friday.  I might have to go check that out soon... plus I can bring a laptop and get some work done with the free wireless internet throughout the hotel.

A Teddy Bear Margarita came out as the "prelude" for our dinner at Hotel Indigo.  The beverage consisted of tequila, passion fruit puree, Cointreau, Grand Marinier, and lime juice.  I love a flavorful margarita that never touches high-fructose corn syrup loaded premade mixes!  The Teddy Bear did well to whet my appetite.  The name came from a quote from an early drinker of the cocktail.  This margarita is said to "wrap its arms around you" and squeeze a little like a Teddy Bear if you've had a couple!

The great servers at the King Bar & Bistro placed the "beginning" course in front of everyone at our table.  The Capital City Seafood Gumbo came with rice, Creole mustard potato salad and some garlic bread.  The rich and flavorful roux and broth tasted great as I consumed everything down to the final morsel on my plate.

A Ponchatoula Strawberry Salad was served as our "fresh" course.  The strawberries are buried underneath the fresh spinach in the picture above, but they were actually quite plentiful.  Along with the crumbled cheese and toasted pecans, this salad combined a great mix of flavors and textures.

Along with the salad came a classic cocktail called a French 75.  Very simple in ingredients, the cocktail packs quite a punch to go along with a tremendous flavor and refreshment factor.  The French 75 is a mixture of gin, lemon juice and champagne.  I enjoyed this version so much that I might have to add these to my regular imbibing schedule!

For the night's "main event" we were greeted with Tin Roof BBQ Shrimp served over creamy grits, some garlic bread spears and a side of marinated peppers.  The New Orleans style barbecue shrimp's flavor exploded in my mouth with the addition of Baton Rouge's local brew in the sauce.  One great aspect of all Hotel Indigo properties is that they are required to take on the characteristic of their surroundings.  The hotel has a uniquely Baton Rouge feel complete with two beer taps in the bar that pour nothing but the local Tin Roof Beer.  Being an advocate for both eating and drinking locally, I loved it!

Only to out do themselves, our "finale" tugged at my soul.  I'm a firm believer that every great meal should end with dessert and this one sure worked!  River Road Dark Roast and New Orleans Praline Liqueur accented a stunning slice of Bourbon Pecan Pie.  I could have eaten two or three slices had they been placed in front of me.  I enjoyed the entire meal and am very glad that I got to participate in the "Locals Know Best - Dish on the Dish" series.

   The King Bar & Bistro at the Hotel Indigo on Urbanspoon

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