Though chef Jamie DeRosa is busy working away to open Izzy's Fish & Oyster, that doesn't mean his first restaurant, Tongue & Cheek, is being neglected. The summer season at the 'Cheek is in full force with Miami Spice and a collaborative dinner series featuring some of New Orleans' best chefs. The next dinner, by the way, is August 10 and features four-time James Beard "best chef - South" finalist Justin Devillier of Le Petit Grocery.
The restaurant has also rolled out a new cocktail menu, created by bar manager Maxwell Parise, and New Times got an early look at the offerings.
The barman, with a resume that includes the Cypress Room, the Filling Station, and Bistro BE, gives creative touches to some classics like the daiquiri and the sour for this collection of libations, saying, " I really have a passion for cocktails and beers." All cocktails range from $12 - 15. Here's what we tried.
The Gin and Chronic is a take on a gin old fashioned, The drink is served over an oversized ice cube, finished with Angostura bitters and lemon. Parise says that this is the one to get if you want a smooth, well-balanced, and easy drinking cocktail.
Parise named this drink the Crazy Goose because, after making a cocktail with tequila, mezcal, and house made ginger beer, he insisted on adding an absinthe mist. The result is a drink that changes with every sip — one minute smoky, one minute herbal — always a bit naughty. The devil, by the way, is not included.
The Ron Burgundy is named after everyone's favorite anchorman, blending bourbon, ron, Ardbeg Scotchy, Scotch Scotch, and blackberries. "It's something sweet for someone who doesn't want a strawberry-vodka-cosmopolitan." he says.
If you're looking for a tall, refreshing cocktail, try the Vida Picante, made with mezcal and house-made cilantro-jalapeño-fresno pepper syrup, topped with a splash of soda for balance and bubbles. There's a cool heat to the drink, but if you like even more of a burn, simply let your bartender know and they'll up the heat factor
A vanilla bourbon sour is made with Indonesian vanilla bean and basil leaves for a natural sweetness. Taris uses Four Roses bourbon, which he says is a wonderful, yet underrated, spirit.
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The Dirty Flowers in Paradise is a light rum-based drink made with grains of paradise, which gives the drink a "bit of a barnyard funk."
All the cocktails are also available for only $8 each during Tongue & Cheek's happy hour, offered from 4 p.m. to close daily. That's a great way to try more than a few — then Uber it home.