BY BETH KAISERMAN
The ambiance was light and fresh, as was the food. The meal began with Tostadita de Jaiba: crab slaw in fresh crisp tortillas, with roasted corn, radishes and lime, and topped with an avocado slice. This was served with a Guanabana Margarita made with Riazul Silver. Next was Tiradito de Fluke with an amazing Mojito, again with Riazul Silver. Grilled marinated calamari with pea shoots and citrus vinaigrette was paired with Riazul Reposado. This tequila’s citrus elements really shined through in this pairing. Pavo al Mole, stuffed guinea fowl breast with peppercress, almonds and mole poblano was paired with Riazul Silver. Finally, Riazul Anejo was served alongside yuzu panna cotta with hibiscus sauce and toasted coconut.
My favorite dish was the first. I usually don’t like seafood slaws, but this one was bright and easy to eat; all of the ingredients highlighted the tasty crab. The lime really did its job here.
The tequila I looked forward to all night was Riazul Anejo, which is aged in a white oak cask for two years. This smoky honey-tinged tequila was perfect with the hints of vanilla in this creamy dessert.
The dinner began with a couple cocktails, but progressed into sipping a few tequilas, the way it is traditionally done in Mexico. Sipping offers drinkers a chance to explore the nuances of each tequila. Courtenay Greenleaf, tequila librarian at LaBibliotecadeTequila, advised us to sniff with our mouths open to capture the aromas, then sip slowly.
Orozco and Greenleaf provided useful knowledge throughout the evening, and the Pampano staff was helpful as well. All in all, it was an enjoyable time, and I certainly gained some new insight and appreciation for tequila.