There are black holes in my CLE exploration: spots I keep meaning to get to, but somehow never have. Velvet Tango Room was one of those spots. That is why I was so excited when Emerging Chefs and Chef Brian Rosander teamed up with Velvet Tango Room’s drink wizard Paulius to put on Last Tango in Tremont.
Matthew and I snagged a table on the patio and prepared to enjoy the beautiful evening.
Our first course was a chilled pea bisque, topped with crab, served with a White Lotus cocktail. The pea bisque was delicious and the delicate, flakey crab was a great topping that complimented the soup without overpowering it. I would definitely order this dish off a menu!
The White Lotus was sweet and citrusy. I found I liked the soup and the cocktail each better individually than paired.
Before our second course, Chef Rosander explained that each course would be served chilled to make you slow down, think about the flavors, and really appreciate the food.
Our second course was Toulouse sausage, served with bleu cheese, and Aligot, Purple Majesty, and American potatoes. The course was paired with a Manhattan.
This is runner-up for my favorite course of the night. Even cool, the sausage and potatoes were tasty and the bleu cheese was not overpowering. I’ll take other people at the table’s word for the Manhattan: personally, bourbon is not for me, but those who like it loved this cocktail!
Third course was my favorite course of the evening (up until that point). It was a chicken mousseline with tomato tarte, paired with the Apricot Lady cocktail.
The flavors and textures in this dish were spot on. The tomato and basil complimented the mousseline and the dish was a perfect for a summer evening: not too heavy, but still satisfying.
The Apricot Lady was light and tart and slightly frothy. Also completely perfect for a summer evening on the patio!
Next up was poached pork belly with brandy clafoutis, paired with a Berkshire Martinez cocktail. Knowing this dish would be served cold, I was a bit apprehensive.
The dish looked a bit like a funnel cake and had the texture of a chewy bread pudding. I did not taste pork belly really at all and the texture just made it a tougher dish to enjoy. I think the concept is interesting, but serving it cool did not help the flavors. The Berkshire Martinez was quite tasty and definitely should earn a 5+ on Velvet Tango Room’s strength-of-drink rating.
Our dessert course tied with the chicken mousseline/Apricot Lady as my favorite course of the night. A ginger fruit tartare with rosemary cream catalana and rosemary chocolate ganache was paired with a White Russian.
The fruit, the cream, the decadent chocolate, and the ginger bite blended perfectly to create a not-to-sweet, not-too-heavy dessert. I almost licked the bowl. The White Russian was the perfect pairing, with its cinnamon spice.
Velvet Tango Room specially makes its ice cubes so they chill your drink but don’t melt. Seriously, on an 80+ degree night, my ice didn’t water down my drink a bit!
It was a tasty evening of good food, good drinks, and good friends in a Cleveland hotspot I’m so glad I finally made it to and can’t wait to return!
The next Emerging Chefs event takes place Friday, August 3 at Saint Rocco’s Church when Chef Jeff Fisher puts on Sagra di San Rocco. Tickets are $50 and are on sale now!
***Disclosure: I was invited to attend Emerging Chefs Last Tango in Tremont with a single media pass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***