When people travel in for meetings, I like to make sure that they get a great food experience on at least one night to make their trip more enjoyable. I think a great business dinner can go a long way in building rapport and relationships with colleagues. Food just has that power and that bond. So when a couple of colleagues from the North America team visited (one from Seattle and one from Tennessee), I wanted to make sure they had a great time and good food.
After consulting with Ashley, we decided the most fun idea seemed to be a two-stop evening. First things kicked off at the Velvet Tango Room for drinks. The Velvet Tango Room is an old bar that has all the feel of a speakeasy from yesteryear. There is an old wood bar with a variety of liquors, some I have never heard of before, up front. In the back is a fair amount of over-stuffed furniture in a dimly lit room. It’s easy to visualize a scene out of Madmen a being filmed right there. But what makes it fun is the drinks. Classic cocktails done right like the Moscow Mule Ashley ordered, served in a copper mug, or the Dark ‘N Stormy I ordered.
We decided that since we got a late start, we would just do a single round and then head off to Tremont Tap House for dinner and a wide variety of beers that would be hard to find in Seattle. Besides the great beer list and the many rotating handles, Tremont Tap House is known for its good, more upscale bar food. And while the burger is supposed to be one of their best bets, I decided I was more in a pizza mood. It doesn’t happen often that I go pizza over a burger, but when one of the options is duck confit, well, I’m willing to make an exception.
The thought of duck confit on a pizza took me back to when I had duck prosciutto on a pizza at Michael Symon’s Lolita. Such an interesting and unique combination with duck and egg and cheese that when I saw it again, I just had to give this interpretation a whirl.
When the pizza made its way out, I was actually a little surprised. The presentation was different than I was expecting. I was thinking a little bit of cheese on a thin crust with piles of confit and a fried egg or two that would add a little sauce when I cut into the yolk. I got the small pizza and thin crust, but there was a lot more cheese than I was expecting. It covered the pizza and almost the duck as well. A couple of the first bites were mostly cheese and crust with just a hint of duck. In fact, if I didn’t know better I might have thought it was just a pretty good cheese pizza.
I ended up eating about half the pizza and taking the rest home. It wasn’t that the pizza was bad, just didn’t quite meet my expectations. Interestingly the next day, when I grabbed a bite of cold pizza, it had actually gotten better. The duck flavor came out much stronger, but the amount of cheese was still overwhelming. The thing is, the spot is great, especially for enjoying a beer outdoors during the waning days of summer, and indoors during the cold of winter. And there was enough potential that I want to go back and try a couple other things (like the burgers).