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cocktails

boozings – Silver Monk At The Franklin

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Welcome back to another installment of boozings, where we try all of Philly’s Top 15 Drinks! Next up we go to The Franklin, for the Silver Monk. The Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company (whew!) is a new speakeasy in what used to be Bar Noir. You remember Bar Noir. It was small and claustrophobic and in a basement. They have no windows here. In fact you can’t see inside the place. I guess it’s all part of the mystique. Once you’re in, it’s pretty nice. There is no standing, so you must have a seat here. Which means if the place is full, the place is full, and you have to wait until people leave. I love the way this place looks inside, especially the wood slats in the ceiling. It’s really dimly lit here. Prepare to use your cell phones for illumination.

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They only serve drinks here. It is a drinking establishment only, it even says so on their website. All the recipes for their drinks are from the early 1900’s. The Silver Monk is not even on the menu, but since it was on the list, I asked for it, and happily received it. This drink is made with blanco tequila, muddled mint and cucumber (yes, there’s a proper vegetable in this!), simple syrup, salt, dash of yellow chartreuse (french liqueur flavored with 130 herbs), poured over a giant hand-chipped ice “rock”, and served in a double old-fashioned glass.

Ok, so this is my favorite now. I know, I know, it seems like every time I try a new one on the list, it becomes my favorite. But seriously, this drink is amazing! And it has a vegetable in it! First off, it’s just absolutely gorgeous. The giant piece of ice in it is just beautiful itself, and I love the strong and simple glass. It tastes great, is smooth, and is deceptively strong. It has a hint of mint and a hint of sweet, with a strange but tantalizing vegetable undertone which comes from the cucumber. I suppose if you do not like cucumbers, you would not like this drink! It has a hefty pricetag, but it’s more than worth it. If you drink too many, it will surely throw you on your ass.

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Ok, 4 down, only 11 more to go!

boozings – De Rigueur At Village Whiskey

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Welcome back to another installment of boozings, where we try all of Philly’s Top 15 Drinks! Next up we go to Village Whiskey. While Jose Garces is a celebrity chef, this place is definitely a place for the alcohol to shine. While I hear the food is also good (especially the burger), their menu clearly show that booze is where the heart is. The De Rigueur is made with rye, Aperol (an Italian aperitif made of bitter orange, rhubarb, and cinchona), grapefruit juice, lemon, honey, and mint, and is served in a champagne coupe type of glass.

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Man, I don’t know how to describe this drink. But it is rather amazing. I want more. Like now. It’s a strong drink, but not overly so. It goes down super smooth. Although it’s orange and served in somewhat of a girley looking glass, it’s not a girley drink. Actually, it tastes pretty darn manly. But anyone would like this. It’s just sweet enough but not overly fruity or sugary, and you get a subtle hint of mint, without any of the horrible mint chunks. It is definitely my favorite of the top 15 drinks I’ve had so far. At $11, it’s also the most expensive one so far, but not the most expensive from the list. It’s definitely $11 well spent. I’d pay more.

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Ok, 3 down, only 12 more to go!
Village Whiskey on Urbanspoon

Pollyanna Feast

I love any party that has shrimp cocktail, don’t you? I had the honor of attending another party by the ever gracious R, and this party had a theme. It was a holiday pollyanna, but the opposite of “healthy and clean”. I’ll let you all figure that out on your own. Shrimp cocktail. I could eat this all day. Grapes… and a lovely salad that A brought.
This bean dish was definitely the appetizer hit of the evening. A mix of pinto, black-eyeds, pimentos, white corn, onions, vinegar, sugar, etc… it was the perfect topping to the chips below. I could have eaten this whole thing. In fact, I probably did eat most of it. Sorry!

A variety of cheese and crackers, as usual, along with some other tapenade type stuff. Did I mention how many chips I ate?

This is where I always go wrong… I stuff my face with appetizers so that I’m already practically full when the main course comes around.  Here we have some roasted tomato and fennel soup (seriously, who makes this kind of stuff?) and a three meat lasagna. Both were excellent, as always with R’s gourmet cooking. He puts the rest of us to shame!

In keeping with the theme of this little party, E created a special dessert. Let’s just use our imaginations to figure out what this dessert is shaped like. It is banana wrapped in bacon (yes, this dessert had bacon in it!) with two scoops of ice cream. :-) And this whole thing was flambéed! Using cognac, we lit these puppies on fire to burn off the alcohol. The fire looks fake in this photo, but it is totally real! I saw it! I felt it! It was so fun! And even though the dessert sounds odd, it was delicious! Thanks for another great party!

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