BLT Steak's Jack Daniels Dinner: An Epic, Drunken Win (Photos)
Chef de Cuisine Matt Ratcliffe & JD's Brand Champ Michael J. Ring
All photos by Arlyene Marie Ponce
BLT Steak in The Betsy Hotel hosted a Jack Daniels dinner in which each course was paired with a different Jack Daniels cocktail or whiskey. The four-course feast included an appetizer and cocktail hour. Who knew JD could stand up so well to fine dining?
While many of us might consider Jack a great guzzling whiskey, Brand Champion Michael J. Ring set out to show how their booze is completely underrated as a sipping brand.
BLT's Chef de Cuisine Matt Ratcliffe knocked out clever pairings while Ring discussed the methods and history behind each whiskey. The $100 a seat dinner was attended by 16 lucky ladies and gents.
The evening kicked off with a couple passed apps paired with the "Papa Doble Rye" Cocktail. This enigmatic concoction consisted of Jack Daniels unaged Tennessee Rye, fresh lime and grapefruit juice and a splash Luxardo Maraschino liqueur. The grapefruit in this tart and slighty sweet drink paired well with its accompanying apps:
A Jackman Ranch Wagyu tartare with grapefruit, dill crème fraiche and toasted coriander seed;
and Local cobia sashimi with pickled fennel, pistachio, and a grapefruit emulsion.
Time to sit and get a bite out of BLT's Steak signature gruyere popovers. These billowy breads have a hollow center and are served with butter and your own, personal salt shaker.
Chef Ratcliffe was daring in pairing Jack Daniels Tennessee honey whiskey with savory rather than sweet. He glazed pig ears with Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey and then fried the puppies up. The ears were served with wild cherry tomatoes, Paradise Farms baby greens and a spicy chow chow that brought out your inner Mike Tyson. We out-chewed the champ, coming back for bite after bite.
For the second course it was time to dial it back and bring out your inner gentleman. Oak smoked scallops with Vidalia onion puree and Granny Smith apple and pecan gremolata paired perfectly with Gentleman Jack.
The entree course gave us a taste of the South with Sweet tea marinated Muscovy duck breast accompanied by pickled Georgia peaches, braised local mustard greens and a whiskey jus. This 3rd round hit home with Jack Daniels Tennessee sour mash whiskey.
This deliciously druken dinner was brought to close with a sophiscated whiskey and a touch of home. Chef Ratcliffe served and Chocolate torte with sour cherries and vanilla brown butter ice cream. The slightly soupy ice cream was a nod to his grandmother, who loved how the melty milky creation helped create it's own sauce. Paired with Jack Daniels single barrel whiskey, the rich dessert played well with it's smoky counterpart.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.