Don The Beachcomber was born on February 22, 1907, in New Orleans. So it’s only fitting that New Orleans will host “Tales Of The Tiki Cocktail,” a dinner and tropical drink tasting on Friday, Feb. 22, at The Pelican Club restaurant.
The Pelican Club has waived is “no vagrants” door policy so that the Bum can attend; he’ll be mixing your drinks and annoying you with anecdotes about Tiki in New Orleans.
Chef de Cuisine Richard Hughes has created a six course dinner to accompany six vintage exotic drinks with a New Orleans connection, including a “lost” cocktail recipe from New Orleans’ legendary midcentury Polynesian restaurant, Bali Ha’i At The Beach (pictured above). Bali Hai owner Harry J. Batt’s grandson Jay found the recipe for us just last week! Here’s the dinner’s food and drink menu:
HOUSE MADE SPRING ROLLS WITH DIPPING SAUCES
Crawfish and Ginger, Crab and Jalapeño, Duck and Pineapple, Cabbage and Shitake Mushroom
BALI BALI (WELCOME COCKTAIL)
Old New Orleans Rum, Martin Miller’s Gin, Hennessey Cognac, Citrus juices, Falernum
(A “lost” recipe from the Bali Ha’i on Pontchartrain Beach, circa 1960)
GINGER AND SESAME U-10 DIVER SEA SCALLOP
with a Louisiana Coconut-Crawfish Cake and a Cilantro-Jalapeño-Lime Dressing
10 Cane Rum, Lime Juice, Honey-Butter, Angostura Bitters
(By Don The Beachcomber; in the 1960s, the St. Charles Hotel’s Outrigger Bar served this as the “White Cloud”)
TARTAR OF AHI TUNA “POKE”-STYLE
with Avocado Salad, Wasabi Topika and a Soy-Wasabi Vinaigrette
Cruzan Estate Rum, Pimento Liqueur, Vanilla Cordial Syrup, Orange & Lime Juice, Cinnamon Syrup
(A 1930s Don The Beachcomber drink, featured both at the Outrigger and the Bali Ha’i)
SEARED SZECHUAN PEPPERCORN SEA BASS
with Red Curry Polenta, Orange Peel Shrimp, Kumquat Confit and a 4-Citrus Sauce
Cruzan Estate Rum, Peach Brandy, Fresh Mint, Pineapple, Lime Juice
(A Don The Beachcomber recipe, served at the Bali Ha’i as “Padre’s Pitfall”)
NIMAN RANCH PORK BONE-IN RIBEYE & BRAISED PORK BELLY
with Pork Fried Rice, Cashew Pea Pods, Sweet & Sour House-Made Pickled Vegetables and a 5-Spice-Mango Barbeque Sauce
Rhum Clément VSOP, Orange Curacao, Lime Juice, Sugar & Orgeat Syrups
(Trader Vic’s original recipe; every New Orleans tiki bar served their own version of this.)
PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
with Angelo Brocato’s Rum-Raisin Ice Cream and a Honey-Rum Glaze
Clément and Cruzan rums, Angostura Bitters, Lime & Pineapple Juices, Passion Fruit & Honey Mixes
(A 1953 version of Don The Beachcomber’s Pi-Yi)
All this will set you back $95 per person, but that includes tax and tip. And it’s for a good cause: proceeds go to the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society, a non-profit organization that raises funds to benefit hospitality industry members, and to preserve New Orleans’ dining and drinking history.
Reservations are required; call 504-377-7935. If you need a place to stay, the nearby Monteleone Hotel is offering a special rate of $179 on the night of the event. Mention the promotional code, TIKI, when calling to reserve a room at 800-535-9595.
If you’re not too hung over the next day, Borders Books and Music will host a Beachbum Berry book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, sponsored by Old New Orleans Rum. (That’s the Borders location at 3131 Veterans Memorial Blvd. in Metairie.)