Photos by Meda Kessler
From cocktails to cheese, a little smoke adds a lot of flavor
We like other smoky things, too. There’s salmon, of course, and the occasional beef rib as crafted by a skilled pitmaster. Lately, we’ve enjoyed the ritual (and taste) of a smoked cocktail made with bourbon or mezcal. There are different methods for achieving the desired results, some more flamboyant than others, and all of them versions of a classic smoke box. At Refinery 714, the penthouse bar atop Fort Worth’s Kimpton Harper Hotel, bartenders use a wood device called the SmokeTop, which helps force the smoke from burned wood chips into the glass, thereby infusing both booze and ice with a nice flavor. While a smoked bourbon isn’t our standard order, it is an occasional treat.
714 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-415-0144, ilmodorestaurant.com/refinery-714
We also have fallen in love with a smoked blue cheese carried at the recently opened 3rd Street Market in downtown Fort Worth. Chef Dena Peterson Shaskan, one of the owners, says Roth Moody Blue comes from Monroe, Wisconsin. It’s a classic blue that’s smoked over fruitwood. You’ll find it in the grab-and-go case or at fromagination.com.
425 W. 3rd St., Fort Worth, 817-310-1000, 3rdstreet.market
Our final guilty pleasure is smoked oysters that you can purchase at almost any grocery store. They’re inexpensive and pack a lot of flavor in that tin can. They satisfy our craving for something briny, so we don’t have to break out the caviar. Instead, we mix a little hot sauce into some sour cream and top that mixture with an oyster or two, along with some of the flavored oil they’re packed with. We dig in with thin crackers and enjoy with a glass of champagne.