Phil’s Whiskey a GOGO event:
If you ever get the chance to come visit our town of Valparaiso, you will not be disappointed with our selection of downtown restaurants. We have something for everybody and everything is in walking distance of each other. One of my husband and I’s favorite places to go for dinner is SAGE restaurant. We started going there for Oysters and wine during the summer months and enjoyed their delicious pizzas, flatbreads and amazing craft beer selection during the winter months, and they never disappoint. They have always been so accommodating of large groups too, check out a picture of their pizza from the Popcorn fest post.
On this particular night, they were collaborating an event organized by Phil from Phil’s Phoodie Phinds called Phil’s Whiskey a GOGO. If you are from the area and consider yourself a foodie you should definitely check out this Facebook group. I have been a member for about 4 months I think, and I absolutely love it. Phil’s love and passion of food comes through and there is a strong community of people sharing photos of food they have made and ask for recommendations on where to eat locally. I feel like I have found like-minded friends where we get to talk about food and drink. It’s really neat.
The event was $50 per person and it was worth it. We all received a t-shirt commemorating the event and each received a whiskey cocktail that paired with each course in which there were 5. Plus, we enjoyed one cocktail to mingle with before the event even started.
I believe this is Phil’s second meet-up and I thought it was fantastic. I am all about amazing people and wonderful experiences and this event checked all the boxes. My husband and I met an amazing couple from La Porte and we connected….you guessed it, over food and drink! I had recognized the woman from her posts on instagram @rinnieeats. Over the holidays, I caught her Rinniedrinks series and couldn’t wait to meet her and this event gave me that opportunity. We had such a blast and it was all thanks to Phil. 🙂 I cannot wait for the next one.
As soon as we walked into SAGE, Phil was there handing us his T-shirts for the event. In the photo above, you can catch Phil there on the far left. On the picture below you can see mixologist Brittany Owens wearing one of them.
Brittany is amazing, and so knowledgeable about her whiskey’s and each drink was really smooth. Rinnie and I had to slow down at one point because the drinks were that smooth and delicious.
First drink we were given to mingle with was called a New York Sour, which I had never had before but I loved that they had incorporated a red wine float. You can try all the drinks mentioned here on their boutique bar menu if you get a chance to go in.
The table setting and atmosphere for that matter was Italian family style, which is my favorite way to sit at a gathering. I am getting so excited to see what is yet to come.
Phil kicked things off with a quick thank you to everyone for coming and walked around to quickly say high to everyone before taking his seat. FYI, this is my favorite picture! It encapsulates how great this guy is and how down to earth and very kind I found him to be.
Joe Gaal (shown above), is the Chef/Owner of SAGE and he is awesome! He came out before each dish and told us the origin of the dish and where some of the ingredients came from and he is hilarious. I really enjoy whenever Chef’s come from out of the kitchen to meet with the people. This added to the atmosphere of the evening, and you could hear the laughter and conversations of a great night out.
Now to the food! First course was a cheese tray. Served with Goat cheese and a fruity sauce, swiss, parmesan and blue cheese with crostinis. Also, in the middle there was crispy kale with toasted walnuts, soooo good! (Disclaimer!…I am not a connoisseur of cheeses, maybe someday, so I might be mistaken about a few of the cheeses) however, I do know that SAGE offers cheese trays for appetizers and you can pick and choose which ones to taste.) The important thing was that it was delicious.
The cheese course was served with their version of an Old-Fashioned. This was probably my personal favorite out of all of the drinks. It had all my favorite ingredients, Double Rye Whiskey, Madagascar Vanilla Liquor, a Cherry and Bitters. Yummm, I wish you guys could have been there.
Next came the quail. This quail was served with sausage disks and fried polenta. You heard me, fried polenta, oh my goodness, so good.
They paired the quail with a Manhattan Perfect, which had Whiskey, Sweet & Dry Vermouth, Bitters, and a Cherry (Very delicious).
The next dish was a ceviche dish which had scallops in a marinade on top of a crostini and on the right, crudo fish white striped bass with citrus and capers. So I must come clean, I am not a fan of scallops, however, I must of missed it when they mentioned that it was scallops. When I ate it, I kept telling my husband how delicious it was and he enjoyed, very cutely, telling me that it was scallops. I was a fan! I love ceviche in general and the amount of flavor that came off of this dish was excellent.
The ceviche was paired with a Peach whiskey cocktail. This one was my husband’s favorite. The drink was very good, you could not taste the alcohol and it tasted like a Peach Ice Tea. This drink I do not believe is on their regular menu and was specific to the event and the dish.
Phil took the opportunity before the next dish to come around and have a quick chat with everyone. It is safe to say at this point in the night we were all having a blast and making friends.
For my husband and I, the hangar steak was the star of the evening. Served medium rare with purple potatoes, topped with a mushroom (oyster or chanterelle looks like) and a chimichurri sauce. This was sooooo good, it tasted like meat flavored butter and cut that way too. We all were surprised when we cut into it with our butter knives.
I believe this drink that was paired was similar to a Negroni, which had bourbon, whiskey cappelletti and sweet vermouth. It was soo good and paired nicely with the steak.
So now we’ve come to the part of the post where I need to let you in on a little secret. I was having such a good time and enjoying myself……..I forgot to take a picture of the dessert!!! Hey, I’m only human and if anything, it gives you an opportunity to try this restaurant for yourselves. If you do, share your experience with me. I would love to hear from you.
Back to the dessert, they served us freshly made (still warm!) donut holes with a whiskey chocolate sauce. It was so perfect, they were like little fluffy warm pillows. Everyone was scraping all of the chocolate off of theirs plates too. So fun.
The dessert was paired with a Pecan flip, I’ve never had one and thought it was good. It has egg white in it and I thought that would turn me off but it was quite nice.
So that was our evening! We had such a great time. Super Big Thank you to everyone involved with the event, especially the staff. I feel everything went without a hitch. I am so proud of our food community and all of the new and interesting things to cover and go to. I can not wait to see what is to come and what Phil’s Phoodie Phinds will come up with next.