One thing that is very difficult to do is pick a favourite restaurant during a foodie fest of expertly curated culinary combos. This was our mission at this year’s Bar et Bouffe 2016 (eat & drink) Montreal resto fest of mixology paired with food. Hosted at the lovely L’Assomoir (Old Mtl) where over a dozen bars/restos showcased the best of their prized pairings. What we especially love about the surge of mixology pairing events is the level of gourmande hedonism involved in tasting elaborate cocktails with mini masterpiece meals. This is hipster eating at its best.
Mayfair is just retro looking enough (1930s inspired) for you to suspect that the menu will have something smoked, bitter or apothecary. The concept is pretty wild and full of style. Cross high tea with international tapas, then make it actually FUN with just enough liquor to make you laugh but not get trashed. Something out of the ordinary and reminiscent of Duke and Dames noshing over exotic teas & whisky sours over large shards of ice, tiny sandwiches, truffled something or other and plenty of gossip. Well this is exactly what we did. Think of Royal tea time but [email protected] foodie style Enter Mayfair.
Ok off to the good stuff. We were served a lovely triple decker of treats ranging from little salmon and caviar canapés, to Grilled cheeses with home made ketchup. Our fave was a toss up between the Tikka Masala mini nan-wich and the truffled mushroom little crostinis. I suppose in any war of the yummies truffle must win! We had the 4 cocktails that the owner and bartender suggested: (Thanks Kev & Russ) their famous GOJI KISS, The GREEN VELVET, THE REGENT PUNCH and who can forget THE KING RICHARD. Check out their drink menu as they reveal all their ingredients! We crossed sipped and decided on 2 faves. One for taste and one for design.
The Green Velvet won for taste. Absinthe is a daring poison to mix with as it’s very strong and dominating. With the cucumber coriander mousse to soften the blow and sweet Gyokuro Kusmi Tea bringing the after taste to a smooth finish line, we really recommend you start with this drink while looking at the food menu.. Now there is something to note about this choice in tea – making the Mayfair truly an exceptional boozy tea lounge. Gyokoro is not your average tea. Three weeks before the harvest, tea trees are covered with a sheet to shelter them from light; this gives the tea a particular color, an incomparable color and an extreme delicate taste. The antique green colored water gives the perfect look for essentially a “Green Fairy” tea cocktail.
The design award for mixology goes to The King Richard because instead of millions of melty ice cubes, there contained one mega bold and fabulous red iced tea cube. Uhm so smart (and copying for my future cocktail parties!) this delicious drink features 3 highly contrasting flavors that merge into 1 incomparable liquor adventure: Wiser’s deluxe whisky give it its kingly boom while (fasten your sweet belt) home made ginger and apple syrup are added to bring out both the sweet caramel and vanilla notes of this Canadian corn charmer. Have no fear, fresh lemon and crisp soda bubbles cut out too much sugar and spice and everything nice to round things up to the perfect gentleman’s starter drink.
P.S The ambiance is that killer retro/modern hipster design banger that we all have not gotten sick of – YET. I mean, I hardly noticed all the details of the exact decor because the cocktails were so insanely beautiful and delicious.
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