A few nights ago, I had dinner at Saxon + Parole for Maker’s Mark bourbon whiskey dinner. This restaurant is Chef Brad Farmerie and AvroKO’s latest venture, which used to be their restaurant concept, Double Crown whose foods were based on British colonies in Asia. This current concept is named after two horses, Saxon and Parole, Americana circa early 1900s, serving more approachable fare like grilled meats and seafood towers. As a fan of Chef Farmerie’s food at PUBLIC, I’m pretty excited to try the food here.
This place is quite a looker with the equestrian-chic theme and a large bar at the front of the restaurant. I’m surprised on a Tuesday night, this place was packed with a bar full of patrons and the dining room is getting filled up quickly.
Since my dinner took place downstairs, it’s more of a gentleman’s den – dark wood, leather banquettes, and lined with rows of wine and liquor bottles along the walls. The ceiling hung many old horseshoes with panels of what might be gates of a former racetrack. It’s eye candy for any person who’s fascinated with Americana of yore.
Moving on to the purpose of my meal here – Maker’s Mark bourbon. We toasted with an apertif made of mainly made of Maker’s 46, topped with prosecco or any sparkling wine. It was a great starter as it was effervescent and had great balance of the bourbon and sparkling wine.
We progressed listening a brief history of Maker’s Mark and how their bourbons (the original and the Marker’s 46) was made. We learned how to drink a whiskey bourbon neat. The good tip to know, especially for those who can’t take it straight, is to dilute the spirit with a little bit of water so it opens up the flavors and allow you to appreciate its nuances more.
Our first course was portobello mushroom mousse with Marker’s Mark truffle jelly. The mousse was insanely divine as it was rich, silky, and intensely mushroom-y that it almost had a meat-like flavor. This dish would satisfy both the vegetarian and omnivore. (Side note: As my meal progressed, I’ve noticed diners around our tables were ordering this particular dish.)
This dish was paired with the Chocolate and chili old fashioned cocktail. I do like a good old fashioned and it reads delicious as I was hoping to get a nice spicy chocolate-y kick. Except it kind of fell flat, as I just tasted a hint of chocolate (from the chocolate bitters) and a watered down old fashioned. My neighbor agreed with me.
Second course of foie gras torchon with kumquat and Maker’s Mark marmalade was easily the most decadent course of the evening. The foie gras wasn’t too gamy and it was creamy. The citrusy Maker’s Mark marmalade was the most welcoming element to this dish so it broke up the richness of the foie. The pairing of the Kentucky Breakfast made of Maker’s Mark, triple sec, kumquat marmalade, fresh lemon fared better than the previous cocktail. It’s fresh, acidic and citrusy from the kumquat marmalade, matching the marmalade in the foie gras dish.
The highly anticipated dish for me was the third course: 28-day dry aged fillet with boozy bone marrow bernaise. My hopes did not deflate when my fillet cut like room-temperature butter and it tasted like beefy heaven. The bone marrow bernaise made it so much more luxurious in texture and flavor. The drink pairing this dish was the Brooklyn Barrel Aged Cocktail. What I’ve learned about this cocktail that it was the Marker’s Mark, maraschino, dry vermouth, and Amer Picon was aged in a barrel for a couple of days prior to mixing. It explains the oak-y nuance in this cocktail beyond the given slightly bitter, sweet and citrusy flavors.
The third course also came with sides of roasted brussels sprouts with chili flakes and honey and whole grain mustard mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes were interesting as it does have the acidic, spicy kick of having the whole grain mustard mixed in.
The brussels sprouts were my favorite dish beyond the aforementioned dry-aged fillet. It’s crisp, sweet and savory – as my table mates said, it kind of taste like duck sauce – with subtle heat. It’s simply delicious and I wouldn’t mind eating this side throughout winter.
As fourth course (dessert) rolled in, we had the Mother-in-Law’s Christmas Pudding with poached quince, Maker’s Mark ice cream. This moist, dense, cake-like pudding was well-spiced yet balanced of clover, cinnamon and nutmeg. The shot glass pairing of the Pumpkin Flip was perfect to reflect the autumn season and the spices of the dessert. Between the two, I prefer the Pumpkin Flip more. The pumpkin ale shines really well, sweet, and it’s not too spiced. It’s my kind of pumpkin-flavored cocktail.
For more photos of this visit and meal, please click through the slideshow below (or my Flickr set):
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Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey