Cocktail Dinner @ Untitled Eats

What exactly is a dash of Dartmouth? Is it the dusky hint of smoke in a peaty scotch, that echos the stacks in Tufts Cove? Is it a sprinkle of sea salt like the brackish spray that hits the air as the ferry pulls into Alderney Landing?

For Jeff Van Horne it’s the glimpse he gives into his life on his blog.

Jeff is mixing it up in the Halifax cocktail scene literally and figuratively—this week in The Coast you’ll see a profile about the Made With Love winner, whose passion for punch, fizz, flips and sours is incredibly infectious, whether he’s behind the bar at the Bicycle Thief or at his Wednesday night cocktail series at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s Untitled Eats.

This Wednesday—tomorrow—Jeff is expanding his repertoire with a cocktail dinner: $50 for a 3-course dinner thoughtfully paired with cocktails.

“We’ll do a welcome punch,” says Jeff. “Everyone can come in and convene around the punch bowl and kind of get to mingle, get to know each other.”

After that, there will be an amuse bouche, then it’s on to the meal which will feature cocktails made with Skyy Vodka and Appleton Rum paired with dishes of halibut and duck.

“First course will have a cocktail paired with that. And we’ll do a sorbet with a cocktail paired with that. The main will have a cocktail and the dessert will have a cocktail.”

“It’s just about getting people in the doors and exposing them to a new restaurant, new food and a new place to hang out,” says Jeff. “Since day one, the reason why I approached George to do this at Untitled is that the food is great, the venue is really cool, and the arts crowd really enjoys drinking fine spirits and fine cocktails, so it’s a perfect fit.”

“Doing this cocktail dinner is another learning experience:  working with the kitchen and working with the food. We’re hoping to do more and more,” he says. “So this is just the start of that next thing: bringing cocktails into food, seeing how cocktails can affect your dining experience and enhance it, because it really can.”

“The options with cocktails and food are much more than wine and food,” Jeff says. “Don’t get me wrong: wine and food is a classic pairing that will never go out of style and will always work, but I think you can even bring more to an experience with properly made cocktails. I’m really, really excited about that. I’ve been trying to organize this for a long time, so it’s a good opportunity—we have talented chefs at Untitled and George has been supportive since day one and helped me with any kind of crazy ideas that I’ve had.”

With his rotating list of seven featured classic and reinvented cocktails every week at Untitled Eats, his hectic schedule pumping out drinks at the Bicycle Thief and cocktail dinners thrown on top, Jeff just might be crazy: crazy like a Fox River Cocktail.

To book your ticket for this week’s cocktail dinner, call 424 8708 or email stephanie@untitledeats.com.

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