I used to think a Bloody Mary was the brunch beverage for weak-stomached, hung over companions who couldn’t handle a bracing mimosa in their current state. I’d laugh and focus on the bottom of my champagne flute, mocking their delicate constitutions as I watched them nurse a drink that brought to mind an astringent-laced salsa.
That was before I had the Bloody Boar at the North Fork Table and Inn. Happily ordered on a whim, the lure of drinkable pork products overcame the tiny, high-pitched voice chirping “but you don’t like Bloody Mary’s” in my brain.
House-infused vodka captures the richness I equate with the thick-cut bacon my husband and I fight over at Peter Luger. There’s smoke and a mouthwatering (no other way to describe but) ‘bacon-ness,’ bringing to mind lava hot crisp nuggets of fat those who dig on swine add to everything until our yearly cholesterol tests halt such practices.
The foundation is a well-made mix with all the Bloody standards: tomato juice, Tabasco, fresh horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. Celery salt adds a grassy freshness cutting the decadence of the meaty elixir.
Mike Mraz, one of the managing partners of the North Fork Table and Inn, confirmed the addition of sweet paprika (which I thought brightened up the drink) and smoked paprika that I feel added another layer, a light mist to the bacon’s heavy fog.
My first sip was about gluttony. The bacon brought me in but the spicy and nicely balanced cocktail keeps me coming back ordering this concoction any time of the day or night. Thankfully, Mike Mraz agrees with my ‘indulge at any time’ attitude. “The extra savory component of bacon lets people feel that it’s okay to take the Bloody Boar out of brunch-only status.”
I’m with him on that. Join me in justifying alcoholic bacon with most meals! During brunch, as an aperitif pre-dinner, or occasionally I’m not afraid to admit….as a solo drink at the bar. Extra spicy, please.
This is not the first time a restaurant or bar has used savory elements in a libation. And anyone who follows me on Twitter or visits our home in the North Fork knows I am one of the many MANY people who are incredibly enthusiastic (or militant) regarding the greatness of the North Fork Table and Inn. It’s not constantly ranked the #1 dining destination on Long Island because it’s secret, I discovered.
I’m not special or alone in my adoration. But, like the far- fresh dishes in the dining room or the Lunch Truck’s constantly elevated comfort food, the Bloody Boar is another example of something straightforward and delicious. No tricks, no inventive plating, just good ingredients and excellent execution. It’s simple. And I like it.
North Fork Table and Inn
57225 Main Road
Southold, NY 11971