Grab a seat at the bar and meet my new friend Adam. Your Bartender for the night. Adam hails from one of those fancy schmancy NYC bars where they specialize in Mezcal cocktails. My first drink was the Mezcal version of The Manhattan. Boozy. Stirred. Hint of Smoke and everything nice. I’m sitting with my new vegetarian friend and picking out something to nibble on. “Trotter Cakes” caught our eye with parsnips being listed as a part of the dish. Didn’t put two and two together that “Trotter” was for pig feet. I’m SOLD. But, my vegetarian friend couldn’t partake. (Don’t worry, she had a lovely dressed salad with radishes and dates.) So, Trotter Cakes. Amazing. The meat is shredded into two cakes with an ever so slightly crusted finish served over a bed of greens and a smear of a horseradish based cream sauce. This dish is succulent, these ingredients were made for one another. Adam had mentioned how good these were, so I asked for a drink recommendation that would pair well with the dish. He chose a bourbon whiskey based drink. I’m failing to remember all of the ingredients, but included an orange and chocolate bitters. He did well. The legs of bourbon on the glass was similar to the sweet juiciness from the meat, think gamey like duck meat. The textures and flavor of both truly complementary.
My friend and I are engaging in conversation with The Libertine staff and another guest, Zach, who travels to Indianapolis about 8 times a year. We all ooo and ahh and come together for a shared love of 21C and Proof in Louisville. I learn he is in sales and covers the midwest and make sure to tell him about staying at the Honor and Folly in Detroit. Zach comes over to talk to us and of course we are talking about what we are drinking. Zach doesn’t know what he’s drinking, he trusts Adam. He just met him. “Me Too!” I reply. We have a shared conversation about the term, “mixologist.” Taking to Adam’s point, where did mixologist come from? He doesn’t like it, he is a good “bartender”. And a good bartender is just right. I haven’t been to NYC, yet. Zach tells me how much I would love NYC, he says when I go, he even has a husband out there for me. A co-worker, Scott. Ha! Zach sells television shows to our local networks. Like the show reruns/second airs, past runs of the show “Community,” for an example. He sells content to local stations like WXIN. I was intrigued to learn more after reading a couple of articles on Netflix’s self-produced new content, House of Cards. Wanted to get his thoughts and dive deeper into his industry. I also wanted to know who sells Mad Men? The person. The Individual. AMC’s Mad Men has 2 million viewers. There are 80 million cable subscribers. Mad Men’s content is so valuable that AMC gets 40 cents per cable subscriber. Yes, per subscriber. That’s right, with only 2 million viewers. “They” are saying this is genius.
Moved on to Tastings, a wine bar, for some more, well. Tastings. You can get 2 ounce or full pour wines. I like to go here to taste some of the more expensive bottles that I wouldn’t commit to purchasing a whole bottle of. I love the leathery tobacco goodness that is hard to find in a cheaper bottle. You will usually find me bar hopping with my PUP messenger bag. It’s made from the old Colt’s stadium rooftop, a material that was salvaged before it’s demolition. I work for People for Urban Progress (PUP) two days a week. When people ask what I do I have something to show them. I met two lawyers in town from Minneapolis at the bar. I shared with them my work with PUP. They seemed to have some keywords for me. Minneapolis deflated their old stadium and it is made of fiberglass. My ears perk up, this is the material we use, teflon-coated fiberglass. It’s indestructible. They are able to tell me who to contact about it. They didn’t think that anyone had plans for it and that we may be working on a couple of weeks to salvage it. Cool. A MiniPUP. Thanks for the tip!
I get a message from my co-workers and friends from MacNiven’s, a scottish bar. They are all at Mass Ave Pub. And, well. We know what happens here. Real People. Being Real. Imbibing together, the way life was meant to be lived. It only takes one person. One Person. To make you feel wanted.