|Happy Hour Turkey Wings|
|OYO Middle West Spirits - Photo: Thomas Haywood|
To get things underway, an “amuse booze” consisting of prosecco, OYO Stone Fruit Vodka, Carpano Bianco and Lemon Falernum Gelee greeted us as we were seated. The fresh lavender and thyme sprigs lent the perfect herbal notes to this finely crafted, albeit potent, aperitif.
|Amuse Booze - Photo: Thomas Haywood|
|Smoked Mussel Shooter|
|Scrambled Eggs, Oyster, Caviar|
|OYO Vodka, Limoncello, Spiced Carpano Bianco, smoked olives|
|Clam Garganelli Anchovie, Bacon|
|OYO Dark Pumpernickel Rye, Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup, charred lemon, Bent Ladder Heirloom Cider|
The pork shank, spaetzle and fennel was undeniably a salute to the coming fall season — as warm and comforting as a favorite sweater. The expertly braised pork was fork-tender and had a luxurious texture. Author Calvin Trillin once wrote that Thanksgiving should be about eating your favorite dish. He insisted he would be more thankful if he could enjoy his favorite Chinese carry-out instead. There is no question that Arcadian’s pork shank dish would be my choice this year. A Germanic-style osso bucco for pork. It too will be on their regular menu soon. The complementary cocktail only enhanced the autumnal aesthetic. If the pork was a comfortable sweater than the cocktail was the perfect pair of warm, suede boots. OYO Wheat Whiskey added a smooth, creamy texture to the Fernet Branca and the roasted pecan-apple shrub. They could probably sell those savory "Arcadian" crackers alongside the crisps served with the first course. They were addicting at first bite.
|Pork Shank, Spaetzle, Fennel Photo: Leo Jeffries|
|OYO 'Oloroso' Wheat Whiskey, Fernet Branca Roasted Pecan-Apple Shrub|
This is when you actually want a devil tending to every detail, like a savory cracker with an “A” for “Arcadian.” Especially when the devil is CIA-trained Erica Coffee who lent some creative assistance to the menu too. She saved her best for last: her butterscotch pumpkin cake was the perfect finish, served with a potent blend of OYO Barrel Aged Honey Vanilla Vodka, chai tea, whipped cream and nutmeg. Butterscotch is one of the first "American" flavors I was captivated by when I came from Italy at age five. It did not disappoint here. The pumpkin married with the butterscotch, enhancing it with rich sweet overtones.
|Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake|
|OYO Barrel-Aged Honey Vanilla Vodka, chai tea, whipped cream, nutmeg|
All in all, it was a splendid evening, pulled off by a talented team of professionals both in the kitchen and behind the bar, featuring great product — not the least of which were the OYO Whiskeys and Vodkas. Each course was better than the last and there were no weak links. It is no wonder that Arcadian Food and Drink has become another favorite refuge.
|Our consummate host, David Hridel|
|Thomas Haywood Middle West Spirits Rep - Photo: Leo Jeffries|