Seven Days, the "alternative" weekly -- I always question that knee-jerk description for anything published outside the mainstream media, but it seems to be acceptable to a lot of people -- that does such a good job of covering the Vermont foodie scene, has taken a solid look at the current cocktail-and-food pairing trend.
Here is how Seven Days writer Suzanne Podhaizer approaches the topic:
"The veggie hash arrived five courses into a brunch-time cocktail pairing at Misery Loves Co. in Winooski -- hunks of mushroom and cauliflower and strips of roasted bell pepper and onion, all mounded on a smear of verdant pesto. A pair of orange-yolked eggs slumped off the vegetables like the melting clocks in Salvador Dali's 'The Persistence of Memory.'Go here for her full report.
"At my elbow was an unusual drink called 'A Walk in the Woods.' Made of gin, juniper, the bitter aperitif Byrrh and reduced mushroom stock, the earthy, woodsy concoction was a perfect complement to the hash. The fungus in the drink picked up the fungus in the food. The bitter components cut through the fat from the egg yolks, just as the latter streaked gold into the pesto's green.
"Misery is one of a handful of Burlington-area restaurants that have made an art of creating food-friendly cocktails, with elements that echo ingredients on the plate or sharply counterpoint them. Other local purveyors of such drinks -- which can be served alone or alongside a meal -- include the Inn at Shelburne Farms, ArtsRiot and Juniper at Hotel Vermont. A decade ago, pairing beer with food -- instead of wine -- was edgy. More recently, serving mixed drinks with meals has become a trend written up in places such as Epicurious.com and Food & Wine. Men's Fitness even described the creation of apt food and booze pairings as a surefire seduction technique (if only!)"
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd On Drinks
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook