Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bourbon

     Bourbon, my favorite spirit and a subject of conversation I delight in, is now available in a new form.  As a Whiskey-centric cocktail bar and Cajun-creole restaurant on Columbia, SC main street.  Bourbon recently opened in the old Capital City Café building.  The building has been refurbished, and as GM Rick Crowe explained to me, they used the old floors to panel the walls and below the bar.



     Bourbon Columbia has selected an impressive list of Bourbons from the coveted 20 yr. Pappy to an Elijah Craig 21 yr., to 4 kinds of Jefferson.  It's a who's who of Kentucky Classics.  I quit counting at 100.

 
      My wife started with a refreshing Summer Thyme cocktail which consisted of Grey Goose Le Melon, fresh thyme, lemon and celery bitters.  Summer time in a glass.  I went for a Woodford Reserve double oak - 2 oz. for $13.00.  Very oaky with hint of caramel and vanilla - will make for a wonderful after dinner bourbon.  Friends Mark and Kim Hodge joined us and Kim tried the Harvest Mule.  American Harvest organic vodka and Cannonborough Ginger beer (specially made for Bourbon Columbia in Charleston, SC) and lime.  Very light and refreshing.  The ginger beer is an excellent mixer.  Mark went with the Kentucky Mule which is the same except they use Evan Williams 1787 Bourbon instead of Vodka.  With everyone happy we started with appetizers.

     Mark's son, Bobby, is a chef in Charleston and he worked with Chef Gordon E. Langston formerly at the Fat Hen in Charleston and Gordon is now at the helm at Bourbon.  Gordon was born in  Braintree, Massachusetts, and grew up in Columbia. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America.  Columbia is lucky to have such a talented chef.  Our food was errorless.  From the appetizers to the desserts the food was incomparable to what I've eaten in Columbia.  It's rare I love a meal at any restaurant.  Even rarer to enjoy the drinks, wine, service and surroundings as much as all of us enjoyed Bourbon Columbia.  There are no reservations and the place fills up by 6:30, so either arrive early or go after 8:00.  Bourbon is on Facebook if you would like to see their specials before you go.  Any complaints you read about Bourbon are the wait time and slow service, which I did not experience because we got there at 5:00 and our company at 6:00.

     Chef Gordon arranged several appetizers for us to sample.  We tackled Gordon's play on surf & turf.  The surf was a Sea Scallop and sweet corn cream with a little pickled mustard seed paired with the turf which was a Heritage Farms Cheshire pork cheek from North Carolina, collard greens from City Roots.

 
     Next was : Nola BBQ shrimp, charred green onions, sherry, brown butter, grilled nacho bread.



     Pasta shells with his signature Creole Pimiento Cheese.

     Roasted green tomatoes, caramelized onions, smoky bacon jam, some Split Creek Farm goat milk feta and pickled jalapeno vinaigrette.

    
     Green beans with spicy tomato and pine nuts.

     For entrees we tried Grilled Bavette Steak on top of Black eyed peas and Brussels sprouts sauté, fingerling potatoes, and the famous Creole pimento cheese.

     Seared Maple Leaf Farms duck breast with a local succotash of speckled butter beans, okra, charred green onions, tomatoes, mushrooms & spinach and a lemon-pink peppercorn sorghum glaze.  This dish I will be experimenting with soon and will post " how to cook" on TPHE website and Facebook.  It is fantastic and not as hard to make as it sounds.

     If we didn't have enough we also tackled some great desserts.  Beignets, which the chef keeps a separate fryer ready just for these light beauties, dusted with powdered sugar.



A blueberry tart and strawberries and chocolate truffles.  I'm getting hungry just writing about this meal.





                                                         Visit Bourbon Columbia soon!

                                                                 Bourbon Columbia
                                                                 1214 Main St.
                                                                 Columbia, SC
                                                                 (803) 403-1404
 
 
                                                          Eat Well & Dress Well!

                                                                       TPHE