I once had a birthday where my friends surprised me with a “Progressive Dinner.” I had no idea what that was, but my spontaneous, always-wanting-to-try-something-new Aquarian spirit was thrilled to learn that you order each course of a dinner at a different restaurant.
Progressive dinners work best, of course, when the restaurants are within easy walking distance of each other. That’s exactly what we have planned for you to duplicate on your own as we discover the Uptown Design District in a whole new way: through your palate.
Glass of Wine: Copley’s on
Cabernet and chill. Get to Copley’s early in the night (around 5:30) and choose from one of their many wines-by-the-glass. I love the 2016 Haymaker Sauvignon Blanc and the 2016 Dutton Estates Pinot Noir. Sip slowly as you’ll want to take in the breathtaking ambiance of the outdoor part of the restaurant. The towering palms, the mountain backdrop, and within the space the vignettes designed to welcome a relaxing evening under the stars by either a fire pit or a fountain. The setting is quintessential desert lifestyle, but has the feel of “eternal vacation.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY TIFFANY CARTER
Try the 2016 Haymaker Sauvignon Blanc and the 2016 Dutton Estates Pinot Noir.
Appetizer: Jake’s Palm Springs
The starters are light, healthy, and layered with flavors. The cauliflower fritters made with ricotta, parmesan, and goat cheese topped with a panko crust and a red raisin coulis makes for a beautiful bite for you and your crew to share. I highly recommend the herb crusted Sea Scallop Flight and Lobster Tempura with sweet Thai chili dipping sauce for seafood choices.
PHOTOGRAPH BY STEVEN SALISBURY
Taste the Lobster Tempura.
Try the Baby Gems salad with a stunning basil anchovy parmesan dressing to get your greens in and Red Endive Salad with creamy goat cheese and blood orange segments for a truly unique, leafy experience.
Main Course: Trio
VIDEO: Watch Chef Nestor Ruiz prepare the Brined Center Cut Pork Chop.
Executive Chef Nestor Ruiz elevates the desert dining menus with such comfort food favorites as the Yankee Pot Roast and the Lamb Shank with goat cheese mashed potatoes. My choice is the Brined Center Cut Pork Chop, a juicy, succulent cut of pork drizzled with an Apple and Golden Raisin Brandy sauce that pulls together all the flavors of autumn in one bite. The sautéed asparagus charred on the grill and the creamy garlic mashed potatoes set the dish on a high octane of taste.
Dessert: Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge
You can’t embark on a Progressive Dinner without a little show. The desserts at Eight4Nine will give you a sweet and sugary light show when you order their Georgia Peach Baked Alaska (flavors changed seasonally).
PHOTOGRAPH BY TIFFANY CARTER
While the dessert itself is a dreamy creation from Pastry Chef Albert Gonzalez, setting the cake on fire with a hypnotic, violet glow in front of your guests is a perfect way to keep the magic going. The ambiance at Eight4Nine is energetic and may require ordering another light-up dessert — the Chocolate S’mores Fondue.
After Dinner Cocktails: Truss & Twine
The final stop of the evening is Truss & Twine, the cocktail bar that celebrates the history of the cocktail with their “by the era” drink menu. My favorite resides in the Prohibition era, the heavenly Fallen Angel made with gin, créme de menthe, lime, and sugar.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY TRUSS & TWINE
The Tiki drinks are top shelf, made with rum and fruity liqueurs. And finally the Dark Ages. Remember White Russian, Cosmopolitan, and Long Island Iced Tea? They’re not extinct and you won’t be judged for ordering them.