The Twisted Tiramisu
L'Aperitivo Italiano, hosted by Artic Vodka @ The Grey Garden, Hauz Khas Village
September, 16th 2011
September, 16th 2011
My mama never told me, never mix cocktails son. It was always the deadly duo of beer and whisky she warned me about. "Cocktails son, it's all good". Well, Mama lied.
Back in the days of prohibition in the USA, there arose "speakeasies", where you had to know where the bar was, to get there, and quite often, you needed to know the secret word also. Speakeasies are back in fashion nowadays, with possibly the most famous being PDT in New York (Please don't tell), where the access is via a phone booth situated in a hot dog place. You use the phone booth to dial a number and the hostess verifies your antecedents before assigning you a time wherein you can enter PDT, which happens I understand by the Bondish mechanism of the phone booth swiveling open.
Grey Garden is not that difficult to find, cause after wandering in the direction of their sign, you come to a choice between a flight of stairs leading down, and one going up. The stairs going down, being covered with what appear to be billowing grey sheets, and having been warned before hand of the avant garde design I chose to descend, and am rewarded by the sight of a small bar set up to receive me, and a small narrow room, with more of these billowing sheets, but this time white, covering the ceiling, and which I was to discover, served a more binding purpose, later on in the evening (Spoiler Alert!).
|More Grey Garden|
Mein host, Paritosh was there to receive me, and get L'Aperitivo Italiano started for me with an Artic Fizz (Orange Vodka, Lime Juice, Ginger Syrup, Tonic Water, Angostura Bitters), a tall drink to get the evening started.
|The Artic Bar|
It was a small gathering, so you could actually speak to each of the other guests, who were in turn, Kishi Arora, a pastry chef, and founder of Foodaholics, Rajesh Lalwani, social media expert and founder of Blogworks, Vishal, with CNBC, a pair of food bloggers (cum architects) who run a Food Blog called Mad Tea Party and Vikas from Spiritz magazine, and of course Paritosh, from Artic Vodka. Not to forget a fraulein from Austria, a vegan, who wandered upon GG, and was invited by our host to join us.
|A Vegan Austrian Fraulein|
Grey Garden, every fortnight hosts a Supper Club, and a Supper Club, I understand in contemporary terms, acts as a mostly underground club, where guests eat from a set menu, and are expected to mingle with other guests, whom they might not know, which worked pretty well, cause of the assembled guests, the only one I had nodding acquaintance with, was Rajesh, who attended a Martini workshop, we did several years ago, for another club (the Tuesday Club).
|What shall we eat ?|
As I sipped my Fizz, I duly mingled, and in due course of time, we were whisked into the aforementioned narrow room, where we were seated at one long table. A small open kitchen bounds one end of the room, and the other is a glass window, which overlooks the garden, and then on to the Hauz Khas lake. I carried into dinner, an Artic Deep Purple (vodka, with fresh grapes, ginger juliennes, chunks of lime and cranberry juice), but I need not have bothered, as my mothers other dictum (which she never told me), was don't mix alcohol and food, and we were sitting down to a largely alcoholic dinner.
|A martini for the lady|
As we donned our bibs, Gautam Arora, the founder of TLR Cafe and Kitchen, sat down to the table with us. I believe he's also connected with the Grey Garden, via his wife, who's a partner in the venture. Let me verify this.
The raspberry Gazpacho was quickly followed by a mix of fritters, which had vodka in the batter (Prawn, Corn, Broccoli) with a Bloody mary dip, which we dug into as I drank my cocktail. A selection of excellent pizzas quickly followed (Salmon and Caviar, Salame Piccante, and one with Pumpkin, Sage and Caramelized Onions), we hadn't even reached the main course and I was stuffed.
2 fairly strong cocktails down, I released myself from my bib, because, that was the other purpose served by the sheets on the ceiling, they descended, to slip around you, and you put your arms through them, so they formed a apron cum smock. And off I was to the loo, situated within the store and studio of Cell Dsgn, out of whose innards, was born The Grey Garden. Having to cross the bar, I asked the bartender to whip me up an Artic Chaska (Green Apple vodka, with coriander leaves, rock salt, lime juice, ginger syrup, tonic water and angostura bitters). It was duly sent in to me, where I used it to wash down my main course of Mince meat Ravioli with Lemon vodka and asparagus sauce).
|The Ravioli - ooh la la|
3 cocktails down, with god alone knows how much vodka in the food, was I glad, I had eschewed the pleasures of the Italian Job, a vicious looking shooter, which was doing the rounds. But the twist was in the Tiramisu, which innocuously enough had been passed off, as flavoured with orange vodka in the menu. It was hard to figure where the vodka ended and the dessert started, but I struggled through it manfully, and to my surprise, found that I was first to polish it off. As we staggered off into the night, I'd learnt my lessons well.
|What did you think of the Risotto ?|