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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Livin' It Up with the "Hotel California" Menu at Orson

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 4:26 PM

click to enlarge The dish is called "Can't Kill the Beast," but it looks dead to us - ROBIN JOLIN PRODUCTIONS
  • Robin Jolin Productions
  • The dish is called "Can't Kill the Beast," but it looks dead to us

"Hotel California" by the Eagles is best known as a slightly spooky song that every dummy at a party will bust out on the guitar in an effort to impress girls. At least that's what I remember from college, other than running for the door.

Starting Thursday, Aug. 11, it will be the inspiration and thread for a four-course menu with cocktail pairings at Orson, in an effort to impress cocktail geeks, Eagles fans (we think they still exist), and foodies alike.

According to chef Elizabeth Falkner, "We have made up a dinner menu with cocktail pairings loosely based on this classic song that will change as the California seasons change."

As the menu stands, before the eerie fog rolls out to change it, it begins with an "Any Time of Year" amuse featuring a bitch of a shooter, bloody Mary gazpacho, paired with a "Spirit of 1969" cocktail: gin, watermelon-tomato mignonette, and cinnamon syrup. You can drink to remember or drink to forget.

The following course takes you to "Such a Lovely Place" with a scallop over corn purée paired with a Pisco cocktail.

Any guesses for what the main course is called? Obviously it's "Can't Kill the Beast" with roasted pig, cornbread, pickled peaches, and broccolini, topped with Tabasco butter and Fresno chiles for a little more action on the back of your throat. Holla! You cool the hotness of the course with a bourbon and muddled peach cocktail.

For dessert, since it's "The Last Thing I Remember," you get chocolate, smoke, plums, and black olive ice cream.

The saltiness of the olives is nearly nonexistent, and you remember that they're actually a fruit and that Falkner is the ultimate dessert slayer. To bring even more of the smokiness back from the '70s for the dessert course, the accompanying cocktail is peaty Laphroaig 10-year single malt with cherry brandy, chocolate, and cayenne.

The entire song-inspired meal is quite the journey. Whoops, wrong California '70s band.

Falkner joked that on some emptier nights she looks at her neighbor, Hotel Utah, packed and gets mad for not naming Orson the Hotel California.

To experience this special menu, you must get a free code from Blackboard Eats available for only 24 hours starting Thursday, Aug. 11. You can then check out the Hotel California menu for $45 any time you like, as long as it's between August 11 and October 11. We believe you will be allowed to leave.

Our recommendation: Eat this dinner, drink these cocktails, see a rock show at Hotel Utah, and then dance to forget!

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Carina Ost

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