Happy happy happy Friday! I hope you all had an incredible week. I know I did! My new job has been wonderful, my social life is booming – my schedule has been jam packed with all kinds of fun things with friends — and last night, I went to see an amazing band by the name of Local Natives. They’re one of my absolute favorites. Needless to say, I have a big goofy grin on my face today.
Speaking of favorites, I recently visited The Libertine.
Molly and I went; we were long overdue for a girl’s night, and she wanted to introduce me to one of her favorite restaurants.
We decided to sit at the bar.
We were both super hungry, but before we dove into the food menu, we had to check out the extensive cocktail list.
I’m a big fan of rum, so the Fear & Loathing cocktail jumped out at me. It contains Gosling’s black seal dark rum, housemade cola, pecan foam, and citrus dust.
Look at that foam! I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect with pecan foam – the idea of it didn’t sound appealing to me – but I’m so glad I ordered this drink. It was fantastic. The strong rum was balanced out by the sweet housemade cola and light frothy foam. It was fantastic. So fantastic, in fact, that I may have ordered a second Fear & Loathing after I guzzled this one. Shhhh!
Molly and I wanted to try multiple dishes, so we decided to order a few different plates to share.
We started with the Crispy Pig Tails – they were served ‘buffalo style’ and were accompanied by whipped gorgonzola brown butter polenta.
Oh my goodness, y’all. These were phenomenal. The outside of the tails were crispy, and the filling was rich, flavorful, and a little spicy. I could have eaten a whole mound of these!
To accompany this dish, I ordered a Monseigneur Bocephus — this cocktail contained Eagle Rare bourbon, benedictine (an herbal liqueur), local honey, and housemade dandelion bitters. Interesting ingredients, for sure!
This drink was pretty intensely bitter – I enjoyed the flavor, but it was a little strong for me. I think I’m just not a bourbon girl! But you all know I’m not one to waste food or drinks, right? So down the hatch it went.
Next up, we ordered the Sunflower Seed Fried Rice — this contained Chinese bacon, pickled carrots, sprouts, and for just an extra 2 bucks, a sunny-side up egg.
One of my favorite things about blogging is the fact that I get to live these kinds of experiences twice – once when I’m at the restaurant, and again when I go through my pictures and blog about it. Can’t. Stop. Drooling.
This dish was delicious. There was no rice in the dish – the ‘rice’ was sunflower seeds – but all of the flavors of Chinese fried rice were there. I loved the saltiness of the bacon, and I’m pretty sure I tasted hints of soy sauce as well. Everything was incredible. If you order this dish, you must get the egg with it. Just trust me on this one. It adds another dimension to the dish. So fantastic!
For our third course, we went with Three Little Birds – this one consisted of a trio of roasted game hen, chicken, and quail, as well as rice grits, smothered greens, and field pea caviar.
Yessssssss. A million times yes! This was by far my favorite dish of the night. Everything about it was just so perfect. The meats were super tender, juicy, and flavorful. The greens were cooked perfectly, and the rice grits tied everything together. I made sure to get a little bit of everything in each bite, and all of the flavors mingled together so nicely. It was fabulous.
For my final drink, I ordered off menu; by this time, the bartender knew I was a fan of rum, so he went to town and came up with this creative libation:
Isn’t it so pretty? Honestly, I don’t remember what was in it other than rum and mint leaves. It was super intense, and definitely something I wanted to (and had to!) sip on. It was the perfect drink to wrap up dinner.
After all of that food, we were both satisfied and ready to call it a night.
That is, until this was placed in front of us.
I can’t say no to dessert. I can’t.
The strawberry upside down cake caught my eye, and the such & such farm maple syrup dessert piqued Molly’s interest, so we did what any responsible adults would do: We ordered both. Go big or go home, right? The word ‘diet’ is clearly not in my vocabulary.
The Strawberry Upside Down Cake came out first:
It was topped with fresh strawberries and pickled strawberries, and accompanied by a mint sauce and chamomile ice cream. How in the world do people come up with these things?!
This was very good. The cake was moist, and the strawberries were deliciously sweet. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the pickled strawberries (I mean…look at them!), but they were surprisingly tasty. The only component I wasn’t a huge fan of was the chamomile ice cream. I don’t feel like that added much to the dessert, and I avoided it for the most part.
Next up? Such & Such Farm Maple Syrup!
This consisted of coffee tuile, budino, and world’s fair doughnut ice cream.
Now if you’re anything like me, the last two sentences were incredibly confusing, starting with (and including) the name of the dessert. Such & Such Farm? Is that really a thing?
Yes. Yes, it is. They’re an 88 acre farm in Missouri that specializes in fresh produce and farm made foods.
Moving on to the components of the dish: Tuile is a thin french wafer, sort of like a really thin cookie. And Budino? It’s a sweet Italian custard.
Hope that clears things up a bit.
Anyway, this dish was just okay to me. I think the sweetness of all three components – the ice cream, the wafer, and the custard – were all too much for me. I’m glad I was sharing this dessert with Molly, because I think this dessert is one best enjoyed in moderation; there’s no way I could consume the entire thing.
In conclusion, The Libertine blew me away. Knocked my socks off. Made me cry tears of joy. Everything, from the service to the presentation of the food to the creative cocktails – everything was great. The Libertine has a handful of regulars who come at least once a week, and I can most definitely see why. This little neighborhood spot is something special! I can’t wait to return.
Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you next Friday with another review!