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.
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.
Follow Laine Doss on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.