The SOMM Journal

October/November 2014

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Page 86 of 120

86 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 A SWANK GEORGETOWN WHISKEY BAR AND A MEAT- CENTRIC RESTAURANT WITH A KILLER BEVERAGE PROGRAM ARE TWO OF D.C.'S LATEST HOTSPOTS BY KELLY A. MAGYARICS Delicious Duo in the District Meat, meet mixology. Charcuterie and cocktails find synergy at this 100-seat bar and restaurant in D.C.'s Penn Quarter neighborhood. Bar and Spirits Director Jeff Faile sinks his teeth into creating cocktails that play off chef Nathan Anda's charcuterie with drinks like Seeing Red, which mixes Espolón Tequila with Hayman's Sloe Gin, green Chartreuse and lime. "There are only four ingredients, but every ingredient shows through and complements some of Nate's richer and herbaceous styles of charcuterie," such as the Greek fennel and lemon verbena cotto-style salami. In fact, most of Faile's innovative elixirs have just several ingredients—a welcome trend, he admits. "The days of the fifteen-minute prep on drinks are over; people want simple and tasty," like his refreshing Stay Close to Me, which shakes up Ransom Dry Gin with Crème de Noyaux, Aperol and lemon. Booze also finds its way onto the charcuterie menu, with spirited salume like Italian dried salami inspired by a Negroni (one of Anda's favorite cocktails), with a Campari and rosemary kick, and the Eva Perón, a cotto-style salami infused with minty, refreshing Fernet Branca. Anda is cur - rently working on the charcuterie version of the Aviation, and smoked beef salami with Manhattan undertones. Wine Director Brent Kroll (see p. 88 for a profile of Brent —Ed.) offers around 40 wines by the half glass, glass, half bottle and full bottle—perfect to create a flight to pair alongside the sushi-style tick-off-your-selections charcuterie menu. His by-the-bottle list has an entire page dedicated to Lambrusco, the meat-friendly Italian sparkler from the Emilia-Romagna region. "It's perfect with char - cuterie because it's acidic and tannic, and that works with the weight of most charcuterie," he explains. "Its fruitiness and perceived sweetness is a great contrast to the savory meat." The Partisan recently hosted its first Lambrusco week, where flutes of the chilled effervescent libation were paired with various salume. Hop-heads have a staunch ally in Beer Director Greg Engert, whose infatuation with sour brews working perfectly with what he deems The Partisan's "focus on all things tart and funky." "The zesty acidity of these ales acts as the perfect foil to the salted component of cured meats, with each flavor softening in the presence of the other." One of his preferred pairings matches up country pâté's combination of liver, pork, pistachios and brandy with the funky, brettanomyces- influenced aromas of traditional kriek lambic. THE PARTISAN At D.C. bar and restaurant The Partisan, Jeff Faile creates cocktails to play off the chef's charcuterie. The Partisan is noted for its wide selection of charcuterie. PHOTO MARISSA BIALECKI PHOTO: ANDREA SENG

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