The nice thing about writing about the food & beverage industry, or working in it, is that occasionally people invite you to eat and drink for free. It's especially nice when those events include things I love like vodka and caviar (how indulgent!)
ps - if you are hosting a gin or bourbon tasting, well, those are my favorite favorites.
Ahem. I had never been to a Morton's before, so trying an event there for free seemed like a good introduction. As usually happens for these sort of events, Husband had to work at the last minute, so I called up good old Crumpet (you might remember Crumpet from such previous ventures as Banana Bean Cafe).
I expected Morton's to be really dark, so I was pleasantly surprised to note that it had the nice kind of mellow lighting you find everywhere in Vegas, and nowhere in Central Ohio. Every table has a cute little pig candle on it (pictured above, behind food), and if I were still in my college days, I might have brought a bigger handbag with me so that I could stash one away. (kidding, kidding.)
The event featured Imperia vodka, which according to the Imperia Vodka rep I met at the event, is filtered through charcoal and crystals. Crystal filtered? It sounds so mystical. Like what they might drink in Dune, if there were a bar scene in Dune. Featured cocktails were lemon thyme (yum), cucumber (yum, but too much salt on the rim), and raspberry (okay, but medicinal as it warmed), and plain old martini with olives (why didn't I try that one? Then I might actually know what the vodka tasted like). The cocktails were good, but as a general rule, I am against sugar syrup in cocktails. I'm a big old lady who's been in the restaurant biz for years: just give me the vodka, sir.
There was caviar, the type of which I failed to take note, of course. It was presented in the traditional manner, with toast points, chopped shallots, and egg yolks & whites. I have a fondness for traditional caviar presentation, because the night Husband proposed to me, he made dinner which included this traditional caviar presentation (along with Pol Roger Cuvee Winston Churchill, how cool is that?).
Even better were the shaved filet station (very rare, yum) with lots of whipped horseradish sauce and a really tasty sweet roll, and the smoked salmon (freshly carved by appropriately snarky chef), along with a giant bowl of grated horseradish (swoon), shallots, and capers.
When the time came for door prizes, my little Crumpet won! A bottle of Imperia vodka, a set of Morton's steak knives, and a cocktail shaker - how cool is that?!
I was informed that, at happy hour, Morton's gives away filet sandwiches on those yummy toasted sweet rolls at the bar. That's reason enough for me to go there. Rumor is also, they are going to fly in the face of Morton's tradition by putting windows in front of the restaurant!?
As I was leaving, I noticed there were personalized wine cabinets lining the entryway. You can see the wines inside, and each cabinet is labeled with its owner's name. I got a kick out of pointing out everyone I had waited upon in the past. I know it's old school, but that seems like a really good way to get - and keep - regulars. I'll have to note that for any future restaurants I might open.
Thanks for the fun & drinks, Morton's!