A few weeks ago, I was on the Seattle Kitchen radio show (Saturday, 4 to 7 p.m. on 710 KIRO AM), hosted by Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau. They asked me to come on and talk about digestivos after my article about bitters. I came armed with a bag of amaros and a small cooler of ice. I made about twelve cocktails in ten minutes, and friends listening say it was basically a half hour of giggling and drinking, in which Thierry kept calling "tout de suite, tout de suite!" so I just kept mixing. Oh. Wait. I get it now. He meant "too sweet." Whoops.
Anyway, Thierry mentioned a bottle of gentian liqueur from France that he keeps in the back at Rover's, gentian being the key bittering agent in almost all bitters, and I had to try it. So last Friday I snuck into Rover's at the beginning of service to give it a, er, shot. He told me it was "dees-guh-steeeng," but ooooo eeeeee, mon dieu and sacrebleu! If you could make grappa any nastier, this is that. The aftertaste caught in the back of my throat like the morning after a tequila binge, and I was tasting the not so subtle flavor of bitter bark for hours. I'll be checking for hair on my chest all month, but it did make me hungry.
While we're talking about Rover's... Did you know that in addition to the restaurant's 3 nightly tasting menus that run $80 to $135 per person, you can order any number of dishes a la carte from the menu for just under $10 to around $25? Oh yeah you can. Quelle bargain.
[DISCLAIMER: My work occasionally allows me to work with le chef dans le chapeau, from temps to temps.] Can I pretentiously fit any more italicized French words into this post? Bien sur. Saucissons! (Sorry, that's my favorite word ever.)