In what 4th & Swift regulars hope will turn into a quarterly occurrence, chef/owner Jay Swift hosted his first seasonal private dinner this week at his Old 4th Ward restaurant.
It was not a menu devised for those fearful of fowl or doubtful about deer being served in the center of your supper plate.
Swift’s Bourbon, Bordeaux and Game Dinner kicked off with bubbly at the bar and passed nibbles including bison tartare and wild boar BLTs.
“This is a not real wild game dinner,” Swift told three tables of enthusiastic diners spread throughout the private dining room. “These are all farm-raised products. It’s getting a little colder out there and we thought this would be an ideal dinner for this time of year.”
Courses included braised Tanglewood Farms rabbit with truffled celery root dumplings and olive oil bread crumbs, a wood roasted squab breast with an endive salad, and ruby red seared slices of venison draped over a butternut squash puree with Maitake mushrooms.
The evening concluded with a chocolate cremeux cake with brown butter ice cream and bourbon-toffee bananas served with a tasting flight of Four Roses Small Batch, Woodford Reserve and Black Maple Hill bourbons, all from Kentucky.
While the delectable dessert is currently on the 4th & Swift menu, guests who were raving about the squab course likely won’t find it on the menu this fall.
“To me, it’s the best tasting meat in the world but it never sells when we put it on the menu,” Swift explained. “Some people think it’s fish. We just haven’t had any luck with it.”
Even while cooking for dozens of people at the private dinner and a busy restaurant, Swift took the time to reflect on fall cooking.
“You can cook heartier,” he told Dish. “The food sticks to your ribs. It’s my favorite season to cook.”