Hey what’s up. Do you enjoy having fun new experiences where you get to eat and drink while also making new friends? I sure do. Recently, I was invited to check out a Mezcal Tasting sponsored by Yellowchair; a series of culinary-themed networking events that take place all over the city.
Yellowchair members have access to curated dinners, tastings, private events and culinary adventures, making each happening the perfect backdrop for, as their buzz phrase says, “Dinner with New Friends.” In addition to the Mezcal tasting and accompanying appetizers, the evening promised a music set by singer and America’s Next Top Model finalist, Cory Wade. Have you seen him? I did not watch his season, but I know he is super fierce.
Cory Wade: The Fierceness (Image Source)
I invited my friend Tracy, a fellow blogger who loves to eat, drink and network, to come along and we set out for a fun night!
The event took place in the upstairs lounge space at Casa Mezcal Mexican Restaurant (86 Orchard Street). In business for five years, Casa Mezcal is partner’s Guillermo Olguin and Ignacio Carballido’s vision of a place that brings the essence of Oaxaca to New York City!
Cory was already warming up as guests were getting seated and he was accompanied by guitarist Alex Alleva. I really enjoyed his set of pop standards from different eras, including current hits like the ubiquitous “Uptown Funk.” Cory’s voice is very fluid and he has a friendly stage persona coupled with a professional charisma that makes him an ideal entertainer for both an intimate setting and larger venues. One of my favorite moments of the set was when he and Alex performed a clever mash-up of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and the Ray Charles classic, “Hit the Road, Jack,” that was just insane.
Cory has recently partnered with Sound Affects – a non-profit, donation-based crowdfunding platform which enables bio-researchers to accelerate the development of cancer treatments. Sound Affects strategically partners with celebrity and amateur musical artists to promote their approach to revolutionizing the war on cancer. All proceeds for the evening were donated to Sound Affects.
In line with its goal of serving as a portal to the rich cultural and culinary traditions of Mexico’s Oaxaca region, Casa Mezcal also features its own brand of high end Mezcal, Los Amantes, which was created by Carballido and Olguin. Los Amantes was our first tasting of the evening.
Los Amantes Joven is single young mezcal, triple distilled with fruit tones and mildly smoked. You can taste citrus and sweet flavors, and at the end the notes are slightly metallic and herbaceous. We were also served salted orange slices with the mezcal to accentuate the flavors.
The mezcal tastings were accompanied by fresh and spicy Guacamole, chips with assorted salsas, and small dishes of Chapulines estilo Oaxaca; toasted grasshoppers seasoned with salt and lime. I’ve been hearing for years that grasshoppers are an excellent alternative source of protein and that they taste and crunch like potato chips, so I was definitely down for the culinary adventure. I will tell you that they tasted very salty, and could have been crunchier, but they weren’t bad. The lady sitting across from me went pretty wild for them, though. Good for her!
The grasshoppers were also a good conversation stimulant, as everybody chimed in with stories about the weirdest thing they’d ever eaten, tongues lubricated by the smoky mezcal!
The second mezcal tasting was Santa Pedrera; a single young mezcal with a bit of a kick to start, full bodied and less smoky than the Los Amantes. Earthy and bright, Santa Pedrera has a more traditional take on the ways to mezcal flavor. I preferred it over our first tasting selection.
It tasted nice with a twist of orange rind added!
We were also served an appetizer course called Queso Con Yerbasanta: pan fried cheese wrapped on hierba santa, served over a delicious tomatillo sauce with fresh homemade corn tortillas on the side. I was so excited to eat this dish that I completely forgot to take a picture. It was really good.
Overall, it was a very fun evening where I made some new friends, heard some good tunes, ate an adventurous food thing, and got a buzz for free! Find out more about Yellowchair events, and register for a free account, at This Link!