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    I will admit I have never seen Mad Men, but after my experience at the Oakroom’s “Au Revoir ‘Mad Men’” I might need to catch up.  The execution of this special event was so delicious and well thought-out that I really felt transported into the era of the famous 1960s show.  The evening was planned to perfection down to the smallest of details; even the guests came in their finest Mad Men attire.  Chef Patrick Roney and Mixologist Jeremy Johnson of Meta conspired to create an elegant evening that not only echoed the era of the show but also the importance of a great dining experience.  

    The evening began with appetizers like deviled quail eggs topped with caviar: small, delicate, creamy, salty, and just a hint of the magnificence yet to come.  The duck foie gras was paired with sweet mandarin and watercress for a wonderful sweet, soft, crunchy bite.  It was also amazing to taste crab rangoon made with real crab… my Chinese takeout will never taste the same again.

    At one point I turned around to find the chef himself decked out as the show’s leading man, Don Draper, serving the guests.  I can’t remember the last time I saw a chef serving guests, but that just goes to show you how much Roney cares about the food he prepares.

    Johnson complimented these scrumptious hors d’oeuvres with a punch that seemed unreal.  Inspired by a Fish House Punch, this libation hit so many notes on my tongue I was amazed at all the flavors; they swirled about like a hurricane of mosaic spirits.  Light, dark, bitter, sweet, it had a complex nature that was true to a perfect punch.

    Dinner was served in the Oakroom as a progressive meal.  Chairs were situated around a television on the far wall so that guest could comfortably watch episodes of Mad Men as it played during dinner.  

    Roney took the time to come out before every course to explain his decision on the fare being brought before hungry patrons.  It was clear that the chef delighted in playing with the popular flavors of the era, and the details of the show.  Not only did Roney consider the kinds of dishes he was serving, (such as a traditional fondue made with cheddar cheese aged in blue cheese caves) but also where he obtained his ingredients.  

    Johnson mirrored this consideration in his cocktail choices, as he served a twist on the Midori Sour. At one point Johnson admitted that the drink was difficult to recreate and that the famous melon liqueur used to make it was “so green it made chartreuse look white”.  However it’s clear these men like a challenge and green never tasted to good!

    The evening was intimate and filled with some of the most beautiful, mouthwatering dishes I’ve ever tasted.  The meal was well worth, if not exceeding, the $85 ticket price.  Roney hopes to bring dinner back to the Oakroom and remind patrons what it’s like to experience the elegance of the Seelbach.

    You can like The Seelbach or The Oakroom on Facebook here and here.

     

    Photos courtesy of Lauren O’Neil and Michelle Eigenheer

     

     

    Lauren O'Neil's picture

    About Lauren O'Neil

    Champagne, sequins, high heels, and mermaids.

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