Rocky Patel, Live at Prohibition!

Hank, Rocky Patel, and Lloyd

Hank and I had a delightful evening at the East Andrews complex including Prohibition and Cellar 56.  Owners Steve and Stan planned a very nice Steak and Scotch dinner out by the fountain (the weather was perfect).  Mike from Alpharetta joined Hank and me, and we got a chance to exchange tales of other good meals and cigars.  We started the evening at Prohibition where we watched Mickelson don the Green Jacket for the third time.  Then we moved outside for the dinner which started with a Caesar salad, Macallan 12, and a Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 cigar.  Scotch and cigars, does it get any better? Moving on, we next tasted the Macallan 15 with our bone-in ribeyes — the mac and cheese served with it is phenomenal!  Stan introduced Rocky, and he spoke to us for a few minutes about cigar making — the detailed process of selecting wrappers, binders, and fillers is very interesting.  Rocky knows his stuff.  And on top of that, he is a very nice and approachable guy.  Hank and I couldn’t resist the deals they were offering on boxes.  We each purchased a box of the Decade — my favorite of Rocky’s cigars.  We finished the dinner with a coconut cream tart, the Macallan 18 (smoooooth!), and the Rocky Patel 1961.  Kudos to Steve and Stan for a extraordinary evening.

Rocky signs Hank up
Rocky and Hank

Another relaxing Friday at Prohibition

A great way to end a stressful week with the mixostylings of Darrell at Prohibition.  Getting there early before the crowd is the goal and I can say once again, mission accomplished.  Darrell, Sean, and Megan take care of you as you unwind with a classic cocktail — mixed the old fashioned way with all natural ingredients (no mixes here).  Sneaking in through the phone booth with the secret number, you enter this Speakeasy and are transported to an earlier time when genteel manners were the norm and service was primo.  My intake tonight, the classic martini with Bluecoat, an American gin out of Philly made in the London Dry style.  Cheers!

Lloyd, Hylan and Hank in College Park

Lobster pot pie, broccoli, and good company!  What a joy to have this good company.  Lloyd and Hylan were both my wife Linda’s students, and I have known them since they were in high school, almost 35 years ago.  I thought kindly of both of them as I steamed and disgorged the lobster and peeled the pearl onions and made the volonte sauce of the lobster blood, sherry and a little vodka pickled with hot peppers that my organic gardener friend, Jimmy, had grown with the help of the Devil.  The peppers are so hot that just a taste has reformed six sinners of record, and that is just through March!  I made a basket weave for the pie crust, and the whole thing looked great.

The wine, a Sonoma Chardonnay, 2008, from the Russian River Valley called “Hook and Ladder” was a great complement.  Very light on the oak and it married with the lobster.  Worth your $15.  The cheeses from Star Provision were as good as usual.

We finished the evening on the porch with a couple cigars, a little Woodford Reserve, and Bevin Hill’s CD from her Masters Recital at the Manhattan School of Music.  Everyone must hear Bevin sing “A Woman In Love” at least once before they die.

Prohibition and Cellar 56

Spent a delightful evening with Hank and Hylan at Prohibition, the sophisticated and cool new speakeasy in Buckhead. While lounging on soft leather couches next to a soothing fireplace, we enjoyed the always tasty libations of master mixologists Darrel and Kevin.  Hank and I have both recently read Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.  A scintillating read about the inner workings of the campaigns.  I thought one of the most interesting parts of the book was how well run the Obama campaign was compared to the others, and how Hillary ended up playing catch-up when Obama transitioned from being a presidential wanna be to a “movement.”  Hank also regaled us with some tidbits from Hank Paulson‘s book, On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System. From everything I’ve read and heard, some very smart people kept us from going down the drink in a swirl.  Meanwhile, our friend Hylan, director and choreographer extraordinaire, is on the road between Atlanta and Birmingham, currently choreographing Jason Robert Brown’s 13 at the Red Top Mountain Theatre in Birmingham.  He also recently choreographed Mulan, the Disney musical, at the Alliance Theatre and conceived and directed a very interesting piece at Seven Stages called Rising Sons.  After the cocktail hour, tasty treats at Cellar 56 with lots of small plates to share.  Our favorites: heirloom tomatoes, grilled corn, flatbread with duck confit and fig jam, grilled lamb pops, and the best — guiness braised short ribs.