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Talkin' Shop

Madison and Maya Follow the Doctor’s Orders in Hong Kong

On the way out to our relaxing trip to Bali, we made a stop in Hong Kong to explore, eat and drink. Everything was incredible and per the suggestion of our friend, we made a special stop at Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour, an exciting, stylish bar tucked away in the basement of The Landmark. The concept for the bar is that it belongs to Dr. Fern who is a botanist that prescribes gin cocktails for “stress-related ailments.” From the white coats worn by the staff, to the host asking if you have an appointment upon arrival, the theme was executed quite nicely.
 
Madison – I ordered one of the gimlets that night. In flavor, it was similar to a Moscow Mule. The drink was good, but my favorite part of the bar was the ambiance. We realized there are a lot of trendy bars in Hong Kong. The cocktail scene really seems to be taking off there. Dr. Fern’s seemed to be a particularly popular as it was crowded the night we were there.
 
Maya – I ordered one of the special gin & tonics that was supposed to be made with Sabatini Gin. Unfortunately, they were out, but they recommended a substitute and it was delicious. It was garnished with olive, cardamom, and thyme. I also loved the ambiance and details that were carried throughout the space to give the feel of a doctor’s office. For example, the Patient Waiting Room was off to the side for if you had a reservation and your table wasn’t ready (we ended up waiting there). The menu has a “personal prescription” section, the bill came in an old pill box, and the servers wore white doctors’ coats. The details were wonderful.
 
If you find yourself in Hong Kong, we highly recommend stopping in at Dr. Fern’s.

Marcelle Drinks Her Way Through Seattle

For my birthday this year, I decided to celebrate the weekend in Seattle. Throughout the twenty years I lived in Oregon, I somehow never made my way to explore Washington – and let’s face it, the foodie scene is really blowing up there. Naturally, we spent the weekend eating and drinking our way through the city, and below I outline a couple of the spots that made a lasting impression. For this write up, I focus only on the cocktails – I mean who doesn’t love a great cocktail?

 

Stateside: We came here for my birthday dinner. I started off with a Pineapple Margarita (mezcal, plantation pineapple rum, sour pineapple, triple sec) – the mezcal is what really caught my eye this one. I also tried the classic coconut drink, simply called “The Coconut” – and yes, it’s served in a whole young coconut with an umbrella on top. The drink also mixes rum, lime leaf and galangal. This fits their tropical interior perfectly. We continued the cocktail celebrations at their bar next door, Foreign National, where, of course, I tried another mezcal cocktail.

 

East Trading Company – We came here for cocktails. It’s a newer spot with a zodiac theme throughout, including twelve cocktails for all twelve zodiac signs. I opted for the Year of the Rooster (gin, aperol, smith & cross, honey chartreuse, grapefruit & lemon, lemon berry sage syrup, brut, butterfly pea flower tea) – but only because I was born the year of the Rooster. As cool as I thought the concept would be, I unfortunately didn’t end up enjoying the drink.

 

The Hart & The Hunter – We came here because this was the restaurant below our hotel. We were staying at the new Palisociety hotel on our last night and figured we would begin the evening with a cocktail and oysters. While the service was not great, I loved my Elliot Bay Gibson cocktail (oyster shell-infused Plymouth gin, blanc vermouth, fino sherry, maldon, bay leaf olive oil, onion). A smooth, savory beverage and the perfect complement to our oysters. Next time, I’ll try their famous butter biscuits.

 

Knee High Stocking Co. – We came here for the cocktails and speakeasy atmosphere. As with other speakeasies, this was a very unassuming bar. I wouldn’t have known it existed hadn’t someone told me about it. I was craving another savory cocktail, which they unfortunately did not have. I ended up ordering an off the menu drink and simply asked the bartender to surprise me. He mixed a gin-based cocktail similar to a cucumber martini and I loved it!

 

Chan – We came here because we were craving chicken wings, and the ones we got were quite possibly the best wings I’ve ever had. None of the cocktails were calling my name, so we ended up trying their house-infused soju flight, which came with five different infused soju. I ended up only really enjoying one of five flavors – the Earl Gray.

 

Guest Chef Potluck Dinner at Saint Helena’s Prestigious The Charter Oak

Originally started to raise money for the 2017 Sonoma Fire victims, The Charter Oak in Saint Helena, Napa Valley hosted their Second Annual Guest Chef Potluck Dinner on Sunday, December 2nd. This year, four Chefs from renowned San Francisco restaurants came together to prepare an amazing seven-course dinner: Chef Matthew Accarrino of SPQR, Chef Tony Cervone of Souvla, Chef Jordan Keao of Aina, and Chef Corey Lee and Brandon Rodgers of Benu. The celebratory prixe fixe dinner benefitted the El Cajon Project, a Bay Area non-profit helping at-risk students become productive members of society by facilitating intensive culinary arts internship programs.
 
Out of the seven-course menu that Marcelle Mulier and I enjoyed, we loved the following dishes the most: Matt Accarrino’s Duck Chestnut Lasagna with Winter Squash and Roasted Grapes – the unique presentation and flavor made this dish really stand out from the rest. Another highlight was Jordan Keao’s Baked Mochi Matcha dessert with Black Sesame Guava Jam and Oleana Ginger Lillikoi Glaze.
 
We will definitely be back next year!

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