Meals with Midgi: New Kid in Town
There’s a new kid in town and Juneau is lucky to have him. His name is Tommy Patrick and he is the latest addition to Reccia’s (no last name required) delicious management team. For those of you who don’t know Reecia, she owns several eateries in Juneau. These include The Hangar on the Wharf, Pizzaria Roma, Alaskan Fish & Chips, and Twisted Fish, affectionately known by locals as the Fish. All are in the downtown area near the water, and the latter two are opened seasonally.
Enter Tommy Patrick. Tommy joined the team to manage the staff and happenings at Twisted Fish. He came to my attention when I visited with Reecia about the Fish’s participation in the Port to Starboard progressive dinner. My responsibility for the dinner was to share information about the tasting locations, the history, and of course all about the food.
Many of us locals know the dining offerings on the Fish’s menu, but I see great things coming from the new kid. He’s what some would call a mixologist, but he prefers to be called a “really good bartender.” I can attest to that. For the event, Tommy prepared a signature cocktail – the Spruce Tip Lemon Drop. That just sounds delicious, doesn’t it? It’s made with Port Chilkoot Icy Strait Vodka and spruce tip simple syrup. I do hope this makes the regular cocktail menu. I can see sipping one of these tasty treats while enjoying the sun on the restaurant’s patio. Heck, it’ll be great in the rain too.
Tommy comes to us from Washington and although he is barely 30 years old, his experience in the kitchen goes back to childhood. He worked at the Bethel Square Restaurant and Lounge, which is stepmother has owned for more than 20 years. There he started out in the unappetizing sounding “dishpit” and worked up to line cook. He eventually made his way to the front of the house as part of the wait staff. This was a great opportunity for Tommy to learn all aspects of a restaurant. This again is great for us diners. He’s a guy who gets it. He gets what it’s like to be a diner and what we’re looking for as far as great food and service.
Since that time, Tommy worked in several restaurants and bars in Washington. He also mastered his cocktail making skills and has even been offered teaching opportunities at Lake Washington Institute of Technology in their spirits and beer program.
Needless to say, Tommy brings incredible experience and skills to the Juneau food scene. This makes my taste buds very excited. Although he was reluctant to share the recipe for that spruce tip lemon drop, I have created a summer cocktail that will hopefully meet with his approval. It has Rosemary lemon simple syrup, and of course vodka. It’s a wonderful refresher after a long hike, or just to enjoy on the deck on a sunny day.
Full disclosure: I have large martini glasses so the photo is a double of the cocktail. It will sneak up on you quickly, so please drink responsibly and enjoy it while waiting for dinner to be served.
This week I present a recipe that was inspired by a signature cocktail for a special evening: Rosemary Lemon Drop. Normally one would say “Move over, there’s a new kid in town,” but I think in Juneau there’s plenty of room for anyone who brings great food and drinks to our city. I encourage you to swing by the Fish the summer to sample some of the new offerings Tommy has come up with and be sure to tell him Midgi sent ya!
Until next time…
Eat and enjoy,
Rosemary Lemon Drop
2 ounce Lemon Vodka
Juice of 1 lemon
1 ounce Rosemary Lemon Simple Syrup (recipe below)
Combine all ingredients in martini shaker with lots of ice. Shake well and pour into martini glass. Garnish with fresh lemon zest and rosemary sprig.
Rosemary Lemon Simple Syrup
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
Zest of 2 lemons
3 – 4 springs fresh rosemary
Bring to a low boil and stir well until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes or so. Set aside and let cool. Strain syrup into air tight container. It should store in refrigerator up to a month.