It started out as a lovely, pleasant girlfriend lunch with my dear friend of almost 20 years, Susan Wilcox, at where else, Michael's On East. Susan and I first met when we were president-elect for our respective Junior Leagues - she for Manatee County, me for Sarasota. Michael's is a nice halfway point for Susan and me to meet.
Towards the end of lunch, co-proprietor, Phil Mancini walked through the restaurant, saw us, and stopped by to give us both a hug. In the course of our conversation, Susan and I spoke about events we were chairing next year and the following year (yes, Susan already has a chairmanship in place for the 2013-14 season). Phil told us the next big thing is nitrogen infused drinks. Well, let me tell you, that started a whole big whoop-de-do!
Next thing we knew Phil was bringing out the chef with a martini and a pitcher of liquid nitrogen! Yikes! We were quite enthralled with the sight of it as he poured the nitrogen over the drink, which immediately froze as did the dollop of chocolate mousse that was on the top. We were asking lots of questions and learning so much! Phil told us you could immediately make ice cream pops and all sorts of interesting things with liquid nitrogen. Then he said something to the effect of "Let me show you this on a bigger scale".
At this point, we were the center of attention in the restaurant (Oh, you know we just hated that!). Phil and the chef (I'm sorry I didn't get his name. I wasn't thinking that I was going to write about this subject!) were now bringing out a huge stainless steel bowl with rum and Coke and a huge pitcher of the liquid nitrogen. The chef proceeded to pour the nitrogen into this enormous bowl and there was so much dry ice-type smoke, or whatever you call it, rolling out of the bowl and all over our table that it looked like a boiling cauldron on Halloween! Truly everyone was watching what was going on, even all the waitstaff had gathered 'round to look. That smoke was so cold. As it rolled out to me, it felt like a huge blast from an air conditioner.
They spooned a little of the rum and Coke slush into glasses for Susan and me and gave us spoons. It was kind of like a Slurpee and it was ICE cold. I am not a big drinker, well, actually, I don't drink alcohol at all, but the presentation was fab-u-lous! I can see how this will be all the rage. I looked it up on YouTube and there are several videos about it. (Now if I was at all technical, I would provide a link, but since I'm not, you will have to find it yourself.)
It was so much fun to see the whole presentation. Thanks, Phil for showing us! There is no doubt why you are the best caterer in town!
Well, after all that, Susan and I were sitting there discussing the whole nitrogen hoo-ha and I decided that I should take a picture of the remains. It is below.
What you see is the martini, with the chocolate mousse ball on the plate, which we had cracked open for a taste, and the two rum and Coke glasses. I assure you, there was just a very small bit of slush in those glasses. We were not like Mad Men and drinking our lunch! Susan tried to put the mousse back in the martini glass, but by that time the drink had melted and I won't even tell you what it looked like in that yellow drink, but it was not pretty. Ewww. Then we laughed so hard and loudly at the sight of it, that Maggie actually came over to us to ask us what we were laughing about. We were definitely having a good time. You never know what is going to happen when Susan and I get together for lunch, but this is definitely one we will be talking about for a long time!