|Photos by Corey Woodruff|
Everything that I sampled was delicious. I tried the New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp & grits with grilled chorizo; Prince Edwards Island Mussels with lemongrass & Kaffir lime; grilled Medjool dates with bacon, Cambozola, & roasted hazelnuts; blackened steak & mushroom flatbread; Tuscan kale & hearts of palm salad with strawberries & goat cheese (one of my favorite dishes that night); hot smoked salmon with tomato coulis; center-cut filet; beer-can chicken (that's right...Chef Faure wanted to represent a "local" dish); grilled asparagus, roasted cauliflower, & twice-baked potato. Dessert was strawberry & white chocolate baked Alaska and profiteroles with hazelnut ice cream.
Yep. It was A LOT of food. I was a happy, happy girl.
Before dinner, we sampled a few of The Ritz signature cocktails. Why am I not having cocktails at The Ritz Lobby Lounge on a regular basis? They have like a gillion kind of martinis. My favorite was the Blackberry Thyme Margarita: "Sauza Blue, Cointreau, Fresh Lime Juice, Muddled Thyme, House Made Blackberry Simple Syrup, Blackberries."
Here's my recreation:
1 ounce Cointreau or triple sec or other orange liqueur
1 ounce blackberry-thyme simple syrup (recipe below)
juice of 1 lime
blackberries & lime wedge, for garnish
- To make the simple syrup: combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of blackberries, and one fresh thyme sprig in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Let simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the berries softened. Remove from heat. Let the mixture sit until cooled. Strain the syrup into a jar, pressing as much juice as you can out of the blackberries.
- To make a margarita: Shake the tequila, Cointreau, syrup, and lime juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Fill a glass with ice and strain the drink into it. Garnish with blackberries and lime wedge.
Thanks to The Ritz Carlton for a fabulous dinner and superb hospitality.