Posts Tagged ‘FIG’

Gin with style: Nolet’s

I used to hate gin. The juniper berries turned me off. But I’ve had a change of heart, what with the abundance of quality mixology in the L.A. area, as well as the emergence of good spirits, including Ketel One vodka maker Nolet’s, which comes with a variety of interesting infusions.

At a Nolet’s cocktail-and-dinner pairing at FIG in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, I sampled Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, which has Turkish rose, peach and raspberry notes and was used in cocktails designed by FIG’s mixologist, Tavis Alexander. My favorite was the beet-based drink, which is now available at FIG. Here are the recipes of Alexander’s cocktails from the dinner:

Beet Me Loud
1 oz. Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin
0.5 oz. beet juice
0.75 oz. apple syrup
0.5 oz. lime juice
Absinthe spray glass
Shake all ingredients, strain over ice and serve in a rocks glass.

Mandarin Fizz
2 oz. Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin
0.75 oz. lemon juice
0.75 oz. simple syrup
1 egg white
Angostura bitters
6 tangerine segments
Zest tangerine
Shake all ingredients, double strain into a mini pilsner glass and garnish with dashes of bitters.

Palisades Coffee
1 oz. Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin
0.5 oz. root liquor
0.5 oz. Benedictine
1 oz. espresso
0.5 oz. cream
0.25 oz. simple syrup
Shake all ingredients, strain and serve up in a coupe glass.

Can’t make it to Santa Monica? I’ve seen Nolet’s at Bouchon Bistro’s bar in Beverly Hills, and mixologist Jaymee Mandeville of downtown’s Drago Centro has also put a Nolet’s drink on her seasonal menu:

Silver Solstice
1.25 oz Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin
0.5 oz maple syrup
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.75 oz banana jam
4 peppercorns
Muddle or grind peppercorns, add all other ingredients over ice, shake and fine strain. Serve up in a martini glass and garnish with lemon twist.

Beet Me Loud

Beet Me Loud

While the Silver is most common, Nolet’s Reserve, with saffron and verbena notes, retails for about $600 a bottle and is the brainchild of distillery owner Carolus Nolet Sr., who personally tastes every batch before it’s bottled. I got to taste some of this pricey liquid, and it is definitely spicy, just as it was described to those of us at the dinner. I think I actually prefer the Silver, which is a good thing since it seems to be popping up more often around Los Angeles.

Note: The meal and cocktails at FIG were hosted.


05 2012

Bit and pieces: Blogger Prom, Pinkberry & Santa Monica deal

Blogger Prom: This year’s Blogger Prom, dubbed Hollywood Confidential, is taking place this Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Yamashiro restaurant. Since I’m on the planning committee, I haven’t been posting on ShopEatSleep as often as I usually do — an event as big as Blogger Prom takes a lot of work! There’s going to be all kinds of fun stuff, including good eats from Chef Brock at Yamashiro, tastings from Barrie Lynn The Cheese Impresario, Coolhaus, Crumbs Bake Shop and other yummy and generous sponsors. There will be giveaways and gift bags galore, so if you’ve received an invitation and haven’t responded yet (this is an invite-only event!), do it now! You won’t want to miss this.

Pinkberry: The ever-present purveyor of tart frozen yogurt is now offering a take-home container that holds the equivalent of five small servings (prices range from $9.95 to $10.95, depending on the store). You can also purchase toppings to go for $1.95 per container, too. I’m not too sure how the froyo would hold up if placed in a home freezer, but I guess it could work if you were having a party and were planning on eating it soon. The fruit bowl is also a new offering; from the description, it sounds like a reverse cup of froyo, with mostly fruit topped with what Pinkberry is calling Swirly Whip, which is made from the Original tart flavor.

Eat, Breathe, Shop at FIG, Fred Segal Couture and Exhale: Spend more than $500 at Fred Segal Couture and get a complimentary week at Exhale Spa in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows as well as a complimentary FIG Fit breakfast at the hotel’s FIG Restaurant. The FIG Fit menu features health-conscious items such as scarlet quinoa with diced apples, and house-made power bars blended from dates, acai, gogi, pomegranate and hemp seeds. Exhale combines fitness and movement with spa and healing therapies, and if you sign up for one of Exhale’s memberships, you’ll get a $100 credit to Fred Segal Couture. It’s a pretty nice cycle.


09 2010

Straight from the farm to my belly: FIG Santa Monica

I had been meaning to try FIG Restaurant in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica since it opened early last year, so when I was invited to dinner there, I jumped at the chance. The restaurant’s seasonal, farm-to-table concept sounded good — how could a place that places its emphasis on fresh local ingredients not sound good? The good news is this philosophy isn’t just lip service: Chef Ray Garcia knows his ingredients, and his kitchen can really cook.

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06 2010

Star Chefs shined on Santa Monica

Last month’s Star Chefs event at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica showcased some of the best culinary talent in Southern California. The event was a walk-around one with a different chef-created dish at each table. Some of the most-talked about chefs were there, including Michael Voltaggio from The Dining Room at the Langham Hotel, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo from Animal, and Ray Garcia of FIG, among others.

Some of my favorites from the night were Animal’s poutine made with oxtail and cheddar and Voltaggio’s wagyu beef with white cheddar, cream of dehydrated broccoli and topped with dehydrated broccoli.

Voltaggio's wagyu beef. From e*starLA.

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04 2010