Friday, September 12, 2014

A Pavan Liqueur Fueled Lunch at Ming Tsai's Blue Dragon (Boston, MA)

This was the time I got to start my week with a toast of sparkling Pavan cocktails at Blue Dragon. Yep, a boozy lunch on a Monday. Ssh, don't tell. It's summer.
Pavan is a vin de liqueur made in France using muscat grapes accented with orange blossom water. It's a lovely liqueur with a relatively low sugar content, but still naturally sweet from the grapes. It's great to use in cocktails, or just to drink with soda water or sparkling wine!

Blue Dragon is one of Ming Tsai's Boston restaurants and is his more casual restaurant - an Asian gastropub, if you will. The decor is mostly one of gastropub with some Asian touches here and there.
The lunch menu is quite different from dinner. The lunch features many more sandwiches and banh mi options while dinner offers more larger entree items.

We all liked the spicy chicken dumplings ($8). The skin is thin and had a nice texture, the sauce has just enough heat.

Pavan is part of the Suntory portfolio, who also carries Lejay, a creme de cassis, and Mozart, a chocolate liqueur. I tasted these too, so read on!
New on the cocktail menu at Blue Dragon is the Malmaison Garden (London dry gin, cava, Pavan, grapefruit - $12)
It was very refreshing, perfect after walking in the warm weather from the T station! I can drink this all day.

Shrimp shumai ($9)
The shumais are lighter with a more subtle taste than what I preferred, but still a good shumai nonetheless.

I had a hard time deciding since it's been a while since I had dan dan noodles but I was curious about their Indonesian lamb shepherd's pie. The server recommended the noodles so I decided to go with that this time!
Dan dan noodles ($12)
I'm used to more sauce on the noodles, but this certainly hit the spot after a craving. A pretty good rendition with generous serving a lot of spice. Good thing we had some sweet liqueurs to cut it!

On to more drinking ...
Lejay is actually the original creme de cassis that is used in the Kir Royal. Lejay was created in 1841 in Dijon by a man named Lagoute (Lejay was his son in law). Now, Kir Royal was invented by Canon Felix Kir who was the mayor of Dijon at the time - so naturally he'd use the local product!

Lejay is also made using all natural ingredients, so it doesn't have that artificial flavors that one might associate with other "creme de cassis". We tried this simply with soda water so we can taste the liqueur itself.

The last one was the Mozart. Mozart is a chocolate cream liqueur. You might be thinking about the Godiva liqueur right now, and in a way you're right - that is probably the only other chocolate liqueur in the market, but the taste is quite different.
Well, actually it's been a long time since I've tasted the Godiva liqueur, but from what I remember Mozart is less cloyingly sweet. Mozart has more of a bittersweet taste and is not as thick in consistency. Have it with dessert or pour some in your coffee.

Now that Boston's weather is finally getting hot, I love having Pavan available at home. It's so easy to make a refreshing drink when I get home - just Pavan with some sparkling water and I'm ready to wind down!
If you need more recipes like sangria, check out Pavan's website!

Blue Dragon
324 A St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 338-8585
Blue Dragon on Urbanspoon


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