Friday, March 28, 2008

Vodka and Caviar in Woodland Hills, With A 'Utopian' Surprise

Don’t be fooled into thinking that all the swanky stuff happens in the Western parts of Los Angeles. Morton’s Steakhouse, yes, the one in the Valley, recently held a tasting which featured yummy Imperia vodka cocktails (such as the Thyme Lemon Drop Mortini in this photo) and Petrossian caviar, smoked salmon – and, of course, passed mini filet mignon sandwiches on that wonderful Morton’s bread.

But, the surprise of the night came from a casual conversation with Morton’s peeps. Through inquiring about the bar’s cocktails, someone mentioned Utopia by Sam Adams – apparently, the most expensive beers in the world – available at Morton’s.

At $125 per bottle, people may think Utopia is purely a marketing ploy (like those $20,000 martinis “garnished” with jewels). But, after being treated to a taste, I can honestly say that it is a quality product. It tastes something like a yeasty, effervescent port wine with molasses and almost ripe plum-like and cherry tones. It has the muscle of an after dinner cognac but with a totally unique twist… an after-dinner beer, maybe?

If paired with food, I can imagine it with a bowl of cheese soup and hearty, earthy brown bread. Or, alongside a hulking hunk of perfectly cooked steak and creamy mashed potatoes. It would also be incredible with a molten chocolate fondue cake.

In any case, the moral of this story is not to underestimate the other side of the 405. You never know where you’ll find a little sip of Heaven.

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