John Lermayer & Meat Market Chef Team Up For Culinary & Cocktail Dinner
Meat Market chef and co-owner Sean Brasel joined forces last night with renowned mixologist John Lermayer to present a five-course culinary and cocktail tasting dinner at his Lincoln Road restaurant. Lermayer, widely considered responsible for spearheading Miami's modern cocktail movement at the Delano's Florida Room has gone on to create beverage programs for critically-acclaimed bars and restaurants across the country. For the evening, he crafted five original cocktails to complement Brasel's innovative, contemporary dishes.
Guests arrived around 7:30pm and mingled at the bar over Lermayer's Welcome Cocktail, a bright champagne cocktail made with Salerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Spring 44 Honey Vodka infused with cherry rose hip tea, and a twist of fresh lemon. Once seated, an amuse bouche of chilled tomato and strawberry gazpacho soup was served with strawberry-tequila jalepeno ice and topped with crab salad.
Service was thoughtfully executed with cocktails arriving before each course in order to enjoy and savor the drinks' complexity before pairing with Brasel's dishes — all of which incorporated a different liquor as a key ingredient, making it an all-the-more boozy affair. Tequila, rum, Sambuca, bourbon, and whiskey were consumed in the dishes, alone.
The Lincoln Road Daiquiri was next, an incredibly original and delicate concoction of Santa Teresa 1796, vanilla cooked agave nectar, fresh squeezed lemon, pineapple juice, black walnut bitters, and grated nutmeg. The daiquiri was paired with Brasel's South Texas quail stuffed with foie gras, chanterelle mushrooms, and topped with a chipotle-rum sauce.
For the second course, a Kings Punch was served in a highball with Hendrick's Gin, Pimm's, wild strawberry, demerara sugar, fresh cucumbers, lavender bitters, and mint to match the wood-grilled Scottish salmon with Sambuca potato cakes, charred corn, and fennel salsa.
No one went thirsty as the third course cocktail, John's Ginger Apple Julep, a strong libation of Hudson rye whiskey, Granny Smith cider, and baby ginger over crushed ice, arrived at tables, garnished with apple slices and a mint sprig. This, was paired with a dry aged, slow roasted Creekstone Farms prime ribeye steak with maple braised endive and a heavenly squash puree with bourbon apple au-jus.
As if the indulgent first four courses weren't enough, it was time to make room for the sweet finish. Instead of your standard after-dinner espresso or coffee, Lermayer created the Espresso Expression, Ocho Anejo tequila with espresso (half-regular, half-decaf, he informed guests as he circulated the dining room) served over one large ice cube, dusted with artisanal chocolates from Hawaii. For dessert, Brasel prepared an American whiskey peach cobbler served with other-worldly smoked brown sugar bacon ice cream.
The dinner was a sumptuous and decadent affair executed with grace and panache by the team at Meat Market. At the end of the evening, guests raved with ecstasy over the tantalizing and surprising flavors of the five-course bacchanal, and walked outside to the balmy night on Lincoln Road totally buzzed.