Edit ModuleShow Tags

Forward-Thinking Drinking



Published:

You know what I think was terribly unjust? The amount of flack chef Patrick Atanalian got when he was cooking at the (long gone) Vintage in St. Paul with amusing little flourishes like plates garnished with Gummi Bears. In retrospect, he was obviously just ahead of his time—dangerously, unprofitably, and mockably ahead of his time. Today all sorts of chefs use all sorts of frivolous ingredients: Jose Andres of Café Atlantico in Washington D.C. sprinkles desserts with Pop Rocks; Graham Eliot Bowles of Graham Eliot in Chicago sprinkles foie gras with Pop Rocks; at the Momofuku Milk Bar, you can get desserts designed to mimic Lucky Charms-sodden milk. But poor Patrick Atanalian was mocked from the Mississippi to Lake Minnetonka for his Coca Cola flourishes, by critics who failed to appreciate that this French-born chef had serious and deep skills. Alas, alack, I think his farewell dinner the last night of the old Loring (before it was replaced by Lurcat) was the only meal of my life I’ll recall as arch, wry, comic, and delicious, containing as it did, and I quote myself from 2002, a “chipotle-glazed pork tenderloin garnished with a little cherry Gummi Bear car having a cherry Gummi Bear crash-up on top of a polenta hill.”

Anyway, I bring this all up as a long way-around to saying: You should think about drinking more. You should especially think about drinking more this Thursday, August 20, when Atanalian cooks a five-course tasting menu at Sanctuary in which he will pair those five courses with five cocktails. The whole shebang is $45. My first thought on hearing about this cocktail and food pairing menu was: This sounds insane. If I had five cocktails I’d be under the table. Then I looked in detail at the menu, all of which is posted online at sanctuaryminneapolis.com, and learned that these five cocktails are on the lighter side. The restaurant calls them ‘cocktail samples’ and promises they’ve only got about two full drinks worth of liquor in them. After absorbing this, I had my second thought: My God, is Atanalian really pairing morel duck confit wontons with absinthe? Can that be done?

But now I have ruminated upon it for a while, and I’ve decided: You know what? He was right the first time, he has the cooking skills to pull it off, life without play is not life worth living, and gosh darn it, I am getting behind this thing.

Cocktail pairing! At Sanctuary! Check it out. I think it stands a good chance of being utterly original, truly tasty, and a meal you will gloat about to your friends in ten years when famous chefs in bigger cities start doing their own cocktail-and-food pairings. Check out the restaurant’s website for the full menu.
 

Sanctuary Restaurant
www.sanctuaryminneapolis.com
903 Washington Ave. S., Mpls.
612-339-5058
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Seasonal Sipping: Drink Recipes

Whether you're looking for a crowd-pleasing punch or a cocktail as dessert, these recipes can take you tastefully through autumn

Savory Pumpkin Soup with Gruyère Toasts Recipe

Easily whip up comforting and good-for-you seasonal soup that is more savory than sweet

Some of the Country's Best Wineries Have a MN Connection

Afraid of Minnesota wine? Why not drink Minnesotan wine: Wine by owners or winemakers who grew up and learned all about wine here.

3 Things to Eat This Week: Oct. 11–15

The best places to nab chocolate croissants, French toast, and waffles—as per food critic Joy Summers

White Chocolate & Pumpkin Pie Spice Popcorn Bites Recipe

Pumpkin pie spices give this sweet and salty snack a taste of autumn

A Restaurant Community in Flux: Good or Bad?

High-profile closings—is this a crisis or standard churn?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

New Fall Drinks at Tattersall Harvestival

The NE Minneapolis distillery features four apple-based drinks to celebrate autumn

Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Cities This Year

Tracking every opening and closing in Minneapolis and St. Paul in 2017

Cakey or Fudgy Brownies Recipe

Elements of science combine to create your perfect treat
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags