by Ian McNulty
Most good waiters will suggest -- and many diners eagerly anticipate -- a cocktail to start out a nice dinner. Next week, Bourbon House Seafood & Oyster Bar will host a special dinner where the cocktails keep flowing throughout the meal, along with plenty of commentary from a uniquely qualified source.
The dinner, scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 9, is the latest offing from the New Orleans Bourbon Society (N.O.B.S.), and is part of a trend among restaurateurs, distillers and liquor distributors to encourage the higher-end dining public to embrace booze with their meals as avidly as they do wine.
Bourbon House has been especially fertile ground for such dinners and the home base of N.O.B.S., a group with free and open membership that exists essentially to help promote bourbon appreciation.
The featured guest at Wednesday's event is Jimmy Bedford, master distiller for Jack Daniel's, who will lead a guided tasting of his products through a four-course dinner. Jack is the most famous example of what's known as a Tennessee whiskey and is not, technically speaking, a bourbon. But no matter, the maker of this popular spirit should prove an interesting dining companion and he will be selling autographed bottles of Jack Daniel's to dinner guests. Proceeds from bottle sales will benefit the Southern Food & Beverage Museum.
The cost of the dinner is $70, which includes tax, tip and drinks. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres of oysters, shrimp and seafood salads, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. with such highlights as smoked oyster chowder and wild boar chops. To reserve a seat, call 274-1831
- Ian McNulty