Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cognac Double Decker Bus Tour (Portland Cocktail Week)

Happy New Year everyone! 'Tis time for me to try and catch up on so many old posts, including ones from Portland Cocktail Week.

My favorite part of Portland Cocktail Week was the Cognac double decker bus tour, where a bright red double decker picked us up at the hotel and took us to three bars to sip cognac cocktails and had some great bites to eat.

Our first stop was Imperial, one of Chef Vitaly Paley's new restaurant with Brandon Wise as the bar manager.
We had Vieux Carre on tap and tasted an amazing hickory infused vermouth which really showed off the bar's strength.

platters of charcuterie to accmpany our Vieux Carre
Our next stop is Central, on Southwest Ankeny Street
Here we had plenty of cheese while waiting for our cocktails, with wonderful preserves and fresh figs
And then they surprised us with black truffle duck pate! So smooth and creamy, with strong truffle aroma. I loved this and was glad they put the plate right in front of me ...

The drink we had here was a very well balanced cocktail made with Remy, Bonal, and yellow chartreuse. I tend to be biased towards drinks made with chartreuse.
don't you love the different glasswares they use?
 Our last stop was Clarklewis. They were busy and the food I saw being made in the open kitchens looked very promising.
The cocktail we had here was a play on Blood and Sand called Coucher de Soleil, made with Pierre Ferrand Cognac, fresh OJ, Cherry Heering, Imbue Vermouth, Angostura bitters and Fee Brothers orange bitters. This was a nice finish after the strong aromatic ones we've had earlier that day.
Our bite was a sort of beef bun Piadina - Carmen Ranch beef tongue, pickled peppers, ricotta salata
We had three great stops that morning, all of which deserve a return visit to try more of their cocktails and food. But Portland Cocktail Week packs in a busy schedule, so right after this bar tour, we headed straight to Pig and Punch for more food and drinks!


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