"People talk about how cocktails don't pair well with food," says Aaron Polsky, the man behind the menu at West Village Japanese restaurant Neta. "And sure, maybe cocktails as we know them don't pair with food. But what if there were a paradigm shift?" I've seen other savory cocktails that, say, use vegetable juices, or actually incorporate salt. But Polsky's push much farther into the territory. When was the last time you had a cocktail that made use of sautéed maitake mushrooms; or infused a spirit with bonito flakes? Umami bombs are all over the place. Come take a look at Polsky's favorite drinks on the menu (and a few soon to come).
'Japanese' on Serious Eats
I'd like to think of myself as a qualified hangover expert. I grew up in Kentucky, a stone's throw from the Woodford Reserve distillery. I minored in OMG Too Much Booze at culinary school (emphasis on minored; I graduated at 20) and have worked my entire adult life in the hard-drinking realm of restaurant kitchens.