My sister was here for a week, my kids were in vacation bible school each evening, so what did we do with all that free time? Hit the bars and restaurants that you all have highly recommended at the Tallahassee Foodies Facebook group lol. We went out each evening, so I have quite a few fun posts coming up.
I asked the group where I should take my sis for some summertime cocktails and there were two suggestions on repeat, Liberty Bar & Restaurant and Proof Brewery, so we hit both back-to-back evenings and you all did not disappoint! For those of you that don’t know, I started the group, not because I’m an expert foodie, whatever that means, but because I have been living under a rock the past 6 years with two little kiddos. I’m finally getting out again and rediscovering all that Tallahassee has to offer, and boy has it grown since I was able to dine at my leisure years ago. Without the group, all the recommendations from my foodies friends, I would have never known where to start. It’s been an educational experience and so super fun!
The food and cocktails at Liberty were spectacular. I order the basil gimlet and their produce that day was so fresh, that this drink had a bright green glow to it. My sister had the mint julep and at the bar after dinner, I tried the Moon Walk with Grand Marnier, Grapefruit, Rose Water, and Champagne, and my sister tried the Hawaii 85-OH! with Manifest Gin, Giffard Passion Fruit, Blue Curacao, pineapple syrup, lemon and champagne. The drinks were beyond what I had hoped they’d be for a summertime cocktail.
We started with the Panzanella and it was spectacular. I love how the curl of fennel caught the sunset lighting! Panzanella is a stack of their very own Hawthorn Bakery toasted focaccia, their Liberty Farms hierloom tomatoes, fennel, basil, shallots, white balsamic reduction, and Georgia Olive Farms olive oil.
For dinner, I had the pulled pork jerk tacos, marinated and braised pork shoulder, shredded cabbage, smoked tomato sauce with a hint of heat, pickled pineapple and fried maduro salsa, and topped a sour blast of pickled red onion. My mom had the blackened catfish po’ boy, a large catfish filet on a toasted baguette, smoked jalapeno remoulade, mixed greens, tomato, onion and a cucumber salad side. I loved the heavy seasoning on her catfish! and my sister had the Steak Frites – an 8oz bistro filet, triple cooked fries, roasted garlic & herb butter, sea salt, house steak sauce, dressed greens. I wish the evening light wasn’t blasting us at that moment so that you could see how they perfectly cooked her steak. It was incredible and their steak sauce was just so dang good!
For those of you that made it to our Hawthorn meetup, you’re probably fully aware that owner/chef of Hawthorn Bakery & Bistro, El Cocinero, Liberty Bar & Restaurant, and Liberty Farms Jesse Edmunds knows that the beauty of his establishments is in the details. This is apparent in everything from the fun menu that shows you the glass and ice in each drink, the moody/cool bar decor and lighting, the beautifully plated food, and the delicious drinks made with high quality ingredients. I can’t wait to get over to El Cocinero soon. It’s been on my list ever since a member reached out to the group to find the best margarita in Tallahassee and the responses were a landslide for El Cocinero!