Bourbon and Bacon. A match made in heaven, to be sure. If you’re on the same page, then Bourbon Steak (335 Powell Street) in Union Square might just be your own personal paradise. Michael Mina’s signature steakhouse in the lobby of the Westin St. Francis has concocted a special libation incorporating the robust, smoky tones of pig fat to accompany the barrel-aged bombast of a wonderful whisky. The Kentucky Fat uses a special infusion of Bulleit bourbon, mixed with Goji berry liqueur, Antica Formula sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters doused in pure bacon fat.
In order to lace the bitters with the smoky-goodness of cooked pig, the staff at Bourbon Steak steeps the bitters in heated bacon fat and then wait for it to solidify. After that they simply scrape off the congealed lard, and voila: the precious gift of bitters, enhanced with the profoundly robust richness of pork. The end result is a well-balanced drink that has the general complexity of a classic Manhattan, but arriving there through an decidedly alternative path.
The Kentucky Fat is on special for the month as part of a celebration in honor of National Hamburger Month. For the remainder of May, you can enjoy this unique, fat-speckled spirit with a trio of succulent sliders for just $20. And these delicious little devils are bite-size balls of bliss.
In the world of ground beef it’s the small stuff that matters most. That’s why Executive Chef Omri Aflalo insists on procuring the highest quality ingredients and using their own trim in producing their exquisitely flavorful patties. As he puts it, “the ratio of fat to beef is more important than the cut itself.” Consequently, all of their burgers maintain a marvelous 80/20 ratio and ground twice in order to maximize tenderization.
With the trio you get a beef short rib burger, made with their own red cabbage and horseradish slaw. The meat is tender and juicy and is held perfectly by the locally-sourced Rye spiced challah. The next number is a gourmet take on the classic In-N-Out Double Double, propelling the fast-food icon to lofty heights with kobe beef patties and their specially-designed “1001 Island” dressing. FInally, you get a miniaturized version of their standard Bourbon Burger, using a house-ground angus with a sharp, Nicasio Reserve cheddar melted atop.
Burgers, bacon, bourbon? What’s not to love about National Burger Month?