Growing up, I read a lot of teen drama. Gossip girl, the A-list. They were superficial but juicy escapes, a favourite summer road-trip or winter break companion.
Those books always had the best parties. Rich, elaborate examples of what happens when creativity and the right people come together. And because my childhood literary adventures set the bar so high for what makes a great party, most real experiences have not lived up to the fantasy.
Local Connections must have read my mind when planning their Wine and Spirits Gala. I don’t know why I haven’t checked out one of their events before now. The focus on local food and drink is right up our alley, afterall.
On Thursday, I finally got my first taste of Local Connections party planning skills. This particular event featured seven (SEVEN!!) rooms, each with their own themed foodie experience.
We had started the night at the launch for one of Nova Scotia’s newest wines, Selkie, so we opted to take in the dessert room first. The decision was in no small part due to the Java Blend coffee they were serving up. And since we were there already, we made a full lap of the edibles in the room – four flavours of gelato from Dee Dees, and a rainbow of French macaroons from Scanway Catering.
From there, it was up the hall and into the valley – a miniature version of the walking winery tour we did for our honeymoon (20 steps rather than 20K). And each stop was paired with a corresponding appy – Chicken Liver Mousse with Haskap and Bacon Reduction finished with fried cattails paired with Grand Pre wine, Churchill Slider paired with Luckett’s, and two kinds of Meadowbrook Farms pate at L’Acadie.
Once we were warmed up, we waited in line for the most poplar room in the place – the Ratinaud /Obladee 3-course tasting menu with wine pairings, named L’emulsion.
I’m glad we went when we did. Despite being a packed house, it was the only line we had to wait more than a minute in. By the end of the night that line wound all the way down the central staircase at Halifax Club.
There was a room full of haddock, and fish cakes garnished with Jerusalem artichoke chips paired with art and local frizzante, and another with sparkling wine, chocolate treats, and makeovers from FRED, and a room with an Avondale Sky/Front and Central mash-up.
Our favourite (other than the aforementioned L’emulsion) was the beer room. Boxing Rock, North Brewing, Propeller, and Garrison selections appropriately paired with smoked bacon and valley apple grilled cheese, and these ‘found in NS’ food concoctions from Brooklyn Warehouse (a ramp crusted swordfish carpaccio with knotweed, mustard greens, and crispy sprouted berries – oh yeah).
Having eaten a lot of good food and tasted many a great drink, we finished the night back where we started – coffee from Java Blend, and
one or two four more macaroons from Scanway.
Our friend Brenden (one of the founders of our new home here on Halifax Bloggers) gave us last minute tickets to this event, but usually tickets will run you $60 for super early bird and $85 at the regular rate. We’ve heard that tickets tend to go FAST – with super early bird tickets often going before event details are live.
Their next event is Chef vs. Sausage, the opening event for Sausage Fest, Local Connection’s annual food festival. Chef vs. Sausage will be held at the Halifax Club on Thursday, August 14th. You can find out more information on that event (and get tickets) here: http://localconnections.ca/events/view/437/chef-vs-sausage