What to do when you’ve got many events to attend in one evening as a member of the Feisty Foodie Family? Why, attend them all as a group, of course! With luck, as occurred this one evening, two events were held at the same venue. The beverage-focused event, sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, featured bartenders hailing from a noted new cocktail bar in Philadelphia, Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company. The Franklin prides itself on a wide variety of signature cocktails requiring rather a lot of prep time and effort to produce not just pretty, but tasty beverages for the masses.
As we walked in, a long table displayed appetizers for light snacking while trying out the various cocktails. As the bar area wasn’t crowded, we could partake as we pleased, but since we’d just arrived from being fed by Alexia, and were soon to be enjoying the new menu for the restaurant, eating was kept to a minimum.
From among the drinks being prepared by The Franklin’s bartenders, I chose the Restraining Order, described as containing reposado tequila, aperol, and celery bitters. I have enjoyed stretching my notion of what food and drink to try and develop a taste for this past year, and, well, aperol? I know, think Campari, think herbal liqueur, but it added an interesting “spiciness” to the drink. That plus the orange rind artfully placed (and working to impede my progress) in the glass before serving, added a bitter edge to the drink I found refreshing.
TT chose the Clover Club, a concoction consisting of gin, dry vermouth, raspberry syrup, fresh lemon juice and an egg white — basically a frothy, fruity martini. As with the Restraining Order, the alcohol, though plentiful, was muted. It was a bit more sweet-and-sour than I might otherwise order, but the process was fascinating and the end product’s flavors worked together nicely.
Here’s where I take closeups of some of the appetizers, which were not duplicated at the sit-down dinner. First up, beer-battered shrimp, with an unshown ponzu sauce, provided a glimpse into the seafood-centric appetizers available at Michael’s. It’s tough to fail at deep-fried shrimp, and as expected, these were in fine condition.
Gravlax in dill sauce on toasted brioche, right up my alley and well-assembled. The fish worked well with the dill, and I easily polished off one of these in the interests of taking a picture and presenting that here.
Feisty Foodies do tend to enjoy seeking out lobster rolls, but I would be surprised if mini lobster rolls garner much debate. If they did, perhaps one of the parties who ate their share of these might comment? I’m not a fan of lobster, but I love to watch others critique it. These tiny rolls were apparently packed with flavor, and not miserly with the lobster, and so were a hit among most everyone in attendance.
The Visit Philly folks left us with swag, naturally: literature, a ballpoint pen, notepad, shot glass, luggage tag, and bottle opener (cat not included) — a little something to remember that little town a short Bolt Bus ride to the south.
I truly enjoyed the cocktails created by the bartenders from The Franklin. I’ve been to a few such establishments in New York, and The Franklin’s guys impressed me with their handiwork. My thanks go out to the GPTMC for putting on a show for us, The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company for serving us liquor, and Michael’s for hosting the whole thing.
Please note that the food, drink and gifts were courtesy of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and Michael’s. I received no monetary compensation for this review, nor was I obliged in any way to post about the food and drink, positively or otherwise. This is my own opinion and I feel it was unbiased; you are free to take from this what you will.