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Liquor love: The Downs offers French-themed vodka-infused dinner

French vodka blended into delicately orchestrated courses makes up the menu of a French-themed vodka-infused dinner at The Crown Room.

The dinner, made up of seven courses, ranging from light on the palate to an explosion of flavor, begins with the vodka pourrait soupe, which incorporates non-flavored Grey Goose vodka. All courses feature an infusion of various Grey Goose vodkas.

“Vodka Pourrait Soupe is French for soup so basically we’re using concasse tomatoes and we’re going to press them so it just kind of locks in the flavor of the tomato, the acidity and all that stuff,” Chef Tristin Rogers said. “We’re going to lock it in with a little salt and pepper, and from there we’re going to put it on a separate plate. It’s going to come with a bacon crisp. The soup is actually cucumber, so it’s going to be a cold dish. It’s going to add a little bit more of a flavor to the concasse. Basically what I was trying to go on here was a different twist on a BLT but in a soup instead of a sandwich.”

For the second course, vodka le jardin, Rogers wants to showcase his interpretation of a garden. The course is made of crispy romaine and chicken sous-vide dressed with Grey Goose Le Citron vinaigrette and radish for a touch of natural spice. The vodka crème, which follows, consists of a pappardelle pasta, house-cured pancetta, black summer truffle covered in a garlic vodka crème made with unflavored Grey Goose vodka.

“We’re going to do a pappardelle pasta. It’s going to be housemade,” Rogers said.

The vodka poisson follows. It is infused with Grey Goose Cherry Noir.

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“Poisson means fish, so we’re going to sous-vide the sea bass,” Rogers said. “We’re going to sous-vide it with butter and thyme. It’s going to lock in the flavor in the sea bass. It’s going to make it really tender. It won’t flake; it will be a really beautiful piece of fish. We’re going to make saffron blanca fumet. The fumet is pretty much like a fish stock that we’re going to make and render down with the vodka, and we’re going to add saffron to it. It’s pretty much like a fish broth. Ratatouille, obviously everybody knows what ratatouille is, we’ll have a lot of fun with that. We’re going to stuff it into a squash blossom, so it’s going to give a nice touch to it.”

An intermezzo of vodka boisson, which features a Grey Goose Raspberry vodka sphere with lime, Sprite and mint will help clean guests palates for the next course of vodka cotelette de pork. The dinner ends with a cheesecake shot made of Cherry Noir Grey Goose and dark cherries.

“We used vodka, a little bit of vinegar, some bay leaves and some peppercorn, and I’m going to let the pork sit about 24 hours in the brine, and then from there we’re going to do a nice sear and base with butter and thyme,” Rogers said of the pork course. “Then we’re going to serve it with (Grey Goose) Le Poire and blackberry gastrique. We’re also going to do a boursin potato puree and serve it with asparagus tips. So all the flavor is going to be in that pork tenderloin, so it’s going to be super, super tender.”

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