Musings by Leah Jorgensen

“North Meets South” Preview Spirits Dinner

March 23

Northwest Palate Magazine hosted a spirits focused dinner at Aquariva on Tuesday night to kick off the first annual North Meets South Food & Drink Jubilee, taking place at the Benson Hotel this weekend, Friday, March 25 – Sunday, March 27.

Northwest Palate Co-Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Cole Danehower launched the dinner with a wonderful introduction about the celebrated food and wine appreciation of the region, and how the culmination of food, wine, beer and spirits are all important contributors to Oregon’s gastronomic culture.

While most dinners in Portland are shared with the region’s top beers and wines, this dinner featured exciting local and imported spirits mixed in cocktails that paired exceptionally well with five inventive courses prepared by Aquariva Executive Chef Andy Arndt and his team.

SuperFly Vodka Champagne Cocktail with Rosemary


Passed Appetizer:
Scallop Stuffed Date, Thyme Cracker
SuperFly Vodka with Champagne, Rosemary

First Course:
Crab and Cucumber Stuffed Pillow, Lemon Basil Emulsion
El Zacatecano Mezcal, Cilantro, Agave, Lime

Crab and Cucumber Pillow, Lemon Basil Emulsion

Second Course:
Smoked Pork Belly, Caramelized Yams, Black Pepper
House Spirits White Dog Rhubarb Old Fashioned

House Spirits White Dog Rhubarb Old Fashioned

Third Course:
Coffee Smoked Short Rib, Onion Rings, Tomato
Cofia Liquor, Mexican Espressotini

Frozen Chocolate, Brown Butter, Candied Zest
Novo Fogo Cachaca Kiwi Caipirinha

There were a few stand-out highlights of the evening, including the SuperFly Vodka Champagne cocktail with Rosemary, a perfect spring sipper; the Crab and Cucumber Pillow – an exquisite presentation with thin cucumber slices artfully wrapping the crab like a woven basket; the House Spirits White Dog Rhubarb Old Fashioned topped with a blood orange; and, the best pairing of the night – the Coffee Smoked Short Rib, Onion Rings, Tomato with the creamy Cofia Liquor Mexican Espressotini, which reminded me of an upscale version of the American classic – burger, fries and milkshake.

This dinner certainly whet the appetite for what’s ahead in this weekend’s North Meets South Food & Drink Jubilee.  Tickets are still available.  Also, visit North Meets South on Facebook and Twitter.


  Nicole wrote @

PS: Erath is an amazing winery! Not to mention all the other wineries you have worked at! I think I’ve been to them all! I miss Oregon! We have some pretty good wine here in New Zealand of course!

  Nicole wrote @

Oops! I think my first comment disappeared!

I just wanted to say that I stumbled on your blog about Auburn Songstresses, and I thought I’d say hello because I am also a piano songstress. Plus I am from Oregon (although I live in New Zealand).

Come on over for a visit:

Sorry if I’ve posted this twice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: