Thursday, March 22, 2012

In this week's Food & Drink: Pasteur, Scofflaw

Posted By on 03.22.12 at 05:05 PM

Banh xeo: Like an Asian taco.

Mike Sula reviews the third incarnation of Pasteur, where peripatetic chef Eric Aubriot has teamed up with Dan Nguyen on a menu that, rather than fusion, is divided between French and Vietnamese cuisine. It’s hit-or-miss, he finds, but he’s still happy to have it back. The lovely room, affordable prices, and tropical cocktails make it “a worthwhile place to visit if you feel like inserting yourself into a Graham Greene novel.”

Contributor Lauren Viera writes about Scofflaw, a gin joint that opened in Logan Square last week. Danny Shapiro, the creative force behind the drinks, says that a little more than half of his list is gin-based. On the coasts there are wholly gin-devoted places such as New York’s Madam Geneva. But here, Viera complains, bartenders are just too nice to be exclusive—they want to be “everything to everyone.”

In Key Ingredient Drawing Room bartender Charles Joly uses extract of ambergris—the waxy substance produced in the digestive systems of sperm whales and either excreted or regurgitated—to scent his Manatee Musk Punsch, made with cognac, rum, sugar, and Kronan Swedish Punsch, a liqueur that contains Batavia arrack, an Indonesian spirit. Next up is Giuseppe Tentori of Boka and GT Fish & Oyster, working with tea tree bee pollen. “It might be on the theme of regurgitated ingredients,” Joly said, noting that it’s pollen mixed with the digestive enzymes of bees.

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