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Prime Rib Live!, Hooch Scoop, Libations of Love

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Prime Rib Live!

If the photo of a succulent steak alongside a meaty crabcake on the Prime Rib page of the Maryland Live! Casino website isn’t enough of a draw, how about the ticking banner across the top, counting out the casino’s payouts to lucky players (close to $3.5 billion last week)? The newest Prime Rib is a joint venture between the Cordish Companies (the folks behind the Arundel Mills gambling venue) and Buzz Beler, owner of the iconic Baltimore steakhouse. Yes, the new incarnation has that retro-elegant leopard carpeting and space for a baby grand. Plus, of course, the succulent steaks and oversized lobsters that have kept the Prime Rib at the top of the special-occasions list for grandparents and dealmakers. Speaking of deals, the management of Maryland Live! reserves the right to “host a player”—meaning, we suppose, free grub for high rollers. (marylandlivecasino.com)

Hooch Scoop

Before ethanol, before high fructose corn syrup, a handy—and for a time, coveted—byproduct of corn was moonshine. Manufactured in secluded stills, the stuff has a long reputation for its high proof—at its finest, the spirit is 50 percent alcohol—and its danger. Even after the 21st Amendment lifted Prohibition, the stuff made by the light of the moon remained illegal. Recent loosening of the laws, along with a trendy fascination with artisanal spirits has led to a predictable outcome: a reprise of white lightning for an audience of hipsters thirsting for anything authentic and DIY. Shanna Cooper and Jacob Millisock are poised to deliver. The Federal Hill residents have teamed up with John Navarria (of Kettle Hill and Brewer’s Art in these parts, as well as New York’s Artisanal Bistro and the 1808 Grille in Nashville, Tenn.) to open Moonshine Tavern, a watering hole for hooch at the location formerly occupied by the Gin Mill. Along with the corn liquor from such distillers as Old Smoky and Georgia Moon—stored in mason jars behind the bar—the place, which opened last weekend, serves 12 craft beers on tap and several in bottles, as well as a menu of “Southern comfort food with a French twist,” according to Cooper. Look for specials like crawfish boils, frogs legs, and banana beignets with tangerine crème Anglais. The namesake liquor will be crafted into cocktails with fresh and seasonal fruits, says Cooper, and served for sipping: “We want to get away from the idea that moonshine is something to avoid.”

Libations of Love

If your Valentine’s Day plans involve imbibing—but moonshine seems a bit too obvious—temper your expectations with lower-proof and higher-romantic appeal. Ra Sushi has the “Berry Encucumbered Refresher” on special through the weekend—Absolut Citron, Cointreau, muddled cucumber, strawberry, lime juice, and soda, $8. Now’s as good a time as any to sample B&O Brasserie’s Galavanter, with Bulleit Rye, St. Germain, Velvet Falernum, and grapefruit bitters, $12.

Bin 604 is hosting a wine-and-chocolate pairing on Feb. 14, featuring wine from the Bin and truffles made by Ashley Roop, pastry chef for Charleston, $29.

Adrian Ross-Boon, of Wit and Wisdom, and with fellow mixologists from other Four Seasons’ properties developed some decadent drinks to toast your love—or your singlehood. Sample them at the bar, or try Ross-Boon’s entry at home:

Mad-Hatten

1.5 oz Knob Creek Rye Whiskey

.5 oz. Famous Grouse blended Scotch

.5 oz. sweet vermouth

.25 oz. Mathilde Black Currant Liqueur

2 dashes Dale Degroff’s pimento

bitters

Lemon peel

Pour ingredients into pint glass, add ice, and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Twist lemon peel over glass and then rub it around the rim before using it as a garnish.

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